Firefighters rescued more than a dozen people and at least two dogs Tuesday from a large fire at an apartment building in downtown Portland, Oregon.
The Portland Fire and Rescue Department tweeted around 10:45 a.m. that They had gone to the scene of the fire and shortly after announced the rescues underway. Fire officials said before noon that at one point firefighters were ordered to back off as the fire it had intensified. Crews later did one of several assessments to make sure none of their items were missing, authorities said.
Rick Graves, a spokesman for the department, later told The Oregonian/OregonLive on Tuesday that the department was certain they all left the building, which had about 50 units and was built in 1910.
Photos and video released by the fire agency showed black smoke billowing from the four-story building and firefighters helping residents and even a dog down stairs to safety.
Windows blew out multiple times as the fire progressed through the structure. Authorities were concerned the building could collapse or the flames could spread to another nearby building, Graves said.. A huge column of smoke was visible from most of the city.
Graves said the fire trucks were moved to areas that would be safe in case the building collapsed. A firefighter was struck in the forehead by glass while he was standing across the street. The injury was minor and the firefighter returned to fight the blaze, Graves said.
Portland General Electric, for its part, interrupted the supply of electricity to the area at the request of the fire department.
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