PORTLAND, Ore. — A 5-alarm fire in a scrap yard in Northeast Portland Monday morning destroyed buildings and caused the evacuation of businesses and residents’ homes. No injuries have been reported.
KOIN, Portland, Oregon’s CBS affiliate reported the fire starting at about 9 a.m. Portland Fire and Rescue officials said the wind-driven fire will likely burn for hours, according to KOIN.
The winds are traveling at about 20 to 25 miles per hour and pushing the “highly toxic” smoke to the west, according to KOIN.
KOIN reported that the water supply is difficult in the area, so fire and rescue officials are working with the water bureau to get more water to the fire.
Portland police and Portland Fire & Rescue are also evacuating homes in the area. Those near the evacuation zone are advised to shelter in place by shutting windows and turning off all HVAC systems due to air quality conditions, according to KOIN.
More than 100 at Sacajawea Head Start, a school in the area, were safely evacuated by school buses to Scott School, another local school, where their parents were able to pick them up if they hadn’t already. Afternoon classes at Sacajawea have been canceled.
KOIN reported that fire and rescue officials said the smoke is so thick, they’re unable to see what’s still burning. The fire has already destroyed a duplex and an apartment building — killing 16 cats, according to officials.
It’s unclear how the fire started, but officials said it could be days before the cause is determined.
Amber Speaks, the office manager of the scrap yard, said vehicles are recycled at the scrap yard.