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Fire Department

Posted on: May 30, 2018

Fire Department Responds to Two Multiple Alarm Fires on Same Day


On Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 2:46 PM, Portland Firefighters responded to 41 Alder Street for a reported building fire. The crews were able to extinguish the fire in the occupied two-family apartment. Portland Fire Investigators determined the cause to be Accidental due to improperly discarded smoking materials disposed of in a recycling bin that was against the structure.


Later that same day at 5:01 PM, while some fire companies were still at the Alder Street incident, multiple calls were received by the 911-Dispatch center reporting heavy fire from the rear porches of 274 Valley Street.  A 2nd Alarm was struck on arrival due to the amount of heavy fire observed at the rear of the building. Crews made an aggressive interior attack, but based on the heavy fire and high heat encountered inside the building, a 3rd alarm was struck by the Incident Commander. Mutual aid communities responded into the city to cover empty firehouses and assist crews on scene with manpower. Portland Fire Investigators were unable to determine an exact cause of this fire, but 911 callers reported seeing fire on the exterior rear porches prior to Fire Department arrival. Investigators have completed the investigation and classified the Valley Street fire as Undetermined; the origin of this fire was also just outside the building on a second floor balcony.

There were no reported civilian injuries at either fire. Two Portland Firefighters were evaluated at a local hospital as a result of the Valley Street fire and released shortly thereafter. The Red Cross is assisting residents displaced by both fires yesterday with a temporary place to stay.

“This is the third building fire within 10 days that has started outside of a structure, eventually spreading inside the building,” said Captain John Brennan of the Portland Fire Department. “While smoke detectors do a great job of preventing major fires inside residential structures, there’s less of a warning system on the exterior of structures. With the arrival of nicer weather, and people spending more time outside, we’d like to remind people to be extra cautious when using smoking materials outside.” 


Smoking materials (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc.) are the leading cause of fire deaths in the United States. 

  • If you smoke, smoke outside and away from the building.

  • Use deep, non-combustible, wide ashtrays on a sturdy table.

  • Before you throw out butts and ashes, make sure they are out, and dousing in water or sand is the best way to do that.

  • Check under furniture cushions and in other places people smoke for cigarette butts that may have fallen out of sight.

  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.

  • If you smoke, choose fire-safe cigarettes. They are less likely to cause fires.

  • To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you have to be alert. You won't be if you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.

  • Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children's sight and reach.

Visit the following link for helpful tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).