Vancouver fire crews aid on Portland blaze

Support helped with 2-alarm Hayden Island fire




Crews battled a fire Sunday afternoon at a three-story condo building on Portland's Hayden Island.

The fire started at around 12:30 p.m. at the Columbia Point West condos at 193 N. Hayden Bay Drive. Residents who evacuated watched as smoke poured from the third floor of Building G.

Firefighters called for more resources with a second alarm after they arrived. Vancouver firefighters helped crews from Portland fight the fire.

No one was hurt.

A neighbor told KATU he called 911 after smelling smoke coming from the building next door.

Andrew O'Keefe, who co-owns the condo where the fire started, said he left to run an errand for 10 minutes and returned to see flames coming from his unit. He believes a heat lamp he used to keep his pet tortoise warm on his outdoor porch caused the fire.

"Not exactly how I thought my Sunday was going to end up," said O'Keefe. "Luckily everybody is safe. All the people in the building are fine. I hope too much extra damage wasn't caused to other people's homes as a result."

O'Keefe said his 4-year-old tortoise, named Milo, died in the fire. He also lost his fiancée's wedding dress for their wedding next month.

"She was the first call on my phone, to let her know what happened. I apologized," he said.

Firefighters said the fire spread above the sprinkler system in the roof. The official cause of the fire is unclear. Firefighters said it's legal to use small heat lamps outdoors.

"Things like this happen," O'Keefe said. "That's why you have insurance. That's why you have good friends and neighbors to help you out in these times."