At 12:08 p.m. Thursday, callers to 911 reported seeing thick, black smoke billowing from a home on Plainview Road off Cornelius Pass Road in unincorporated Multnomah County. Fire crews from Portland Fire & Rescue were first to arrive on scene and confirmed to dispatch that a home was fully engulfed in flames. There were no reports or signs of occupants in the home at the time. Portland crews took command of the scene and began fighting the fire from the outside of the single-story home.
Additional resources, including TVF&R apparatus, arrived and helped establish a water supply. Firefighters entered the structure through a daylight basement and worked their way to the first floor where they found one deceased individual along with a dog. Firefighters then conducted a second search of the home to confirm there were no additional occupants inside. The fire was brought under control at 1:21 p.m. Upon discovering the remains, the Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office was also called to the scene to confirm cause of death. A chaplain was later dispatched to assist family members who began to arrive at the home.
In addition to the loss of life, this fire posed numerous challenges for fire crews due to its rural location. Long, narrow streets and driveways left little room for fire crews to maneuver large apparatus and equipment. Due to the lack of hydrants in the area, water had to be trucked in using water tenders. Cornelius Pass Road was temporarily shut down to facilitate firefighting operations. Firefighters also had to carefully maneuver through the home as the fire compromised its structural stability.
TVF&R investigators responded to the scene and are working to determine the cause and origin of the fire. The home suffered extensive damage and is a total loss. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office is also investigating the circumstances of the fire.
TVF&R is grateful to the numerous partners who assisted with firefighting, traffic control, investigation, and support services. Thank you to Portland Fire & Rescue Bureau, Hillsboro Fire and Rescue, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office, Multnomah County Animal Services, Oregon Department of Transportation, the American Red Cross, Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications, Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency, Portland General Electric, and Northwest Natural Gas.