Firefighters had to fight a North Portland house fire from the outside, because the house was filled with too much stuff.
Portland Fire crews responded to a report of smoke from a house in 8300 block of N. Chautauqua Boulevard. When they arrived, they found heavy smoke coming from a vacant, single story house.
Firefighters entered and began searching for the fire, but they quickly encountered conditions consistent with "Hoarding." Firefighters had to fight through significant clutter while trying to locate the fire. The fire was found in the basement, on the first floor and in the attic.
Fire commanders made the call to switch from offensive (interior) to defensive (exterior) operations, siting the increased danger posed by the hoarding and the fact that the house was vacant. A majority of the fire has been extinguished at this point but firefighters will be on scene for most of the day assisting with the investigation.
No one was home at the time of the fire and no one was hurt.
Portland Fire & Rescue's Lt. Damon Simmons says that resources are available and should be utilized if you or someone you know suffers from Compulsive Hoarding Syndrome. According to the Mayo Clinic hoarding is the obsessive collection of items, along with the inability to discard them.
Hoarding can lead to the increased likelihood of fires as combustible items have a greater chance of contacting heat sources. Fires in hoarder houses are also more severe as the amount of combustible material is usually greater.