Firefighters investigating apartment fire that critically injured teen in SE Portland


A teenage boy is fighting for his life after fire tore through his southeast Portland apartment building Monday night.

Fire officials are still trying to figure out what caused the fire at the building, located in the 8100 block of Southeast Main Street.

"My family, they live in the house and called me up and say this place has been on fire," said Flores, whose apartment was damaged in the fire.

Flores and his family lived on the ground floor of the apartment building for one year, but now, they have to leave.

Water is pooling up in the ceiling, increasing the chance for collapse. But Flores and his family are the lucky ones.

"We went out, saw the building behind us, saw a lot of smoke, and then fire coming from out of the windows," said Vahid Tajadod, nearby business owner.

The two-alarm fire broke out at around 8 p.m. Firefighters pulled an unconscious teenager from a second floor unit, and neighbors could only watch in shock.

"The part that was hard was watching them pull that boy out of the building. And I've seen him and his sister walk by multiple times," said Audrey Griffin.

"Fire people were moving across to open the roof to try to get access. There just is no escape from that floor plan," said Kathleen Topp.

Some say there is no good escape route in the building, and they wonder if the injured boy tried to get out.

"It's the children I worry about the most, losing everything. Because you see them go to and from school and greet them every day. So, they're in my heart," said Topp.

Fire crews knocked down the fire within 30 minutes, stopping any significant damage to nearby homes and buildings.

While Flores is thinking about his young neighbor in the hospital, he's also trying to figure out his next move.

"We'll try to look for a place. It's kind of hard right now to live," said Flores.

Officials are not releasing the name of the teen that was injured. He is being treated at the Oregon Burn Center at Emanuel Hospital.

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