Man leaps from Portland condo to escape fire

5 hospitalized, one with traumatic injuries

These people were displaced when fire broke out at a condo on NW 18th and Lovejoy in Portland, January 23, 2017 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An early morning 2-alarm fire at a Northwest Portland condominium building sent 5 people to the hospital, including one man who was seriously hurt when he jumped from a window.

The fire at Royal Arms at Northwest 18th Avenue and Northwest Lovejoy Street was reported at 6:38 a.m. when the smoke alarms activated. People then began calling to report heavy smoke inside the building, which appeared to be centered from the elevator shaft.

When fire crews arrived, they found smoke on all 5 floors. Neighbors were forced from their sleep out into the cold.

“‘When we got here, this fire was just starting to go, and we could actually see people coming down the emergency escape stairs,” a fire official said.

An aerial view of the condo at NW 18th and Lovejoy in Portland that had a fire, January 23, 2017 (KOIN)
An aerial view of the condo at NW 18th and Lovejoy in Portland that had a fire, January 23, 2017 (KOIN)

In total, five people were hospitalized. The man who jumped from a 2nd-story window sustained traumatic injuries. One woman had to be rescued from a 5th floor unit via ladder.

Kate Chamberlin, a resident at the condominium said, “I opened my door, and there was way too much smoke to go out in the hall.”

She continued, “I just grabbed a change of clothes and my purse and that’s it.”

Another resident said, “My floor was just covered in thick smoke.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but Portland Fire and Rescue said sprinklers inside the building worked.

Kevin Jones, a resident in the building, said he saw fire burning in the elevator shaft.

Portland firefighters used a ladder to rescue this woman from the 5th floor of a condo during a fire at NW 18th and Lovejoy, January 23, 2017 (KOIN)
Portland firefighters used a ladder to rescue this woman from the 5th floor of a condo during a fire at NW 18th and Lovejoy, January 23, 2017 (KOIN)

“I went into the lobby, and the elevator doors were open, and then there was a fire like on the ceiling of the elevator and lots of smoke,” said Jones. “We started yelling at people, like, ‘Hey, there’s something going on here.'”

Jones was one of the first ones out of the building.

Roughly 24 firefighters were called to help with the blaze. Some of them ended up reuniting dogs and cats with their worried owners.

Danielle Jackson, who lives in the building, was overjoyed to be reunited with her pet saying, “Thank you so much. Oh my God. Thank you so much.”

Traffic and the Portland Streetcar were disrupted as firefighters battled the blaze.

A 2-alarm fire broke out at NW 18th and Lovejoy in Portland, January 23, 2017 (KOIN)
A 2-alarm fire broke out at NW 18th and Lovejoy in Portland, January 23, 2017 (KOIN)