PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Two people, including a police sergeant, are being credited for making sure as many as 19 people escaped an apartment fire.
The fire was reported around 5 a.m. Wednesday at Northeast 27th Avenue and Northeast Killingsworth Street.
Portland Police Bureau North Precinct Sgt. Charlie Harris was the first first-responder on scene.
“I just went around and started banging on doors,” Harris said. “First thing for me is making sure that everyone is out that we can get to.”
He was joined by Kenneth Butler, who lives at the complex.
“It was real dangerous because of the kids,” according to Butler.
The two men said everyone was able to get out safely.
According to Portland Fire & Rescue, as many as 11 adults and 8 children were displaced.
One person was detained by Portland Police for questioning after he reportedly told neighbors that he was going to light the 6-plex on fire.
Portland Fire spokesperson Lt. Damon Simmons confirmed that arson investigators were on scene and that they had heard similar reports.
KOIN 6 News has learned Louis Duncan, 34, was booked into jail mid-Wednesday morning and charged with first-degree arson.
Harris credits the help of others like Butler for making sure everyone was able to get out of the building safely and quickly.
“The neighbors had done a great job of getting the folks out,” Harris said.
Anyone with information on the fire is asked to call the non-emergency dispatch line at 503.823.3333