PORTLAND — A woman who was living in a home that was supposed to be vacant was rescued by firefighters on Monday morning. She was lucky to get out after being knocked unconscious likely from the smoke and suffering life-threatening burns.
The previous tenants moved out of the home on Southeast Holgate just east of 97th Avenue and the electricity had been turned off.
The intensity of the flames was strong enough to break out a front window.
“It sounds like a couple of the windows were boarded up. There was no indication there was even a fire until it broke through one of the windows and neighbors were able to call 9-1-1,” said Portland Fire Lieutenant Rich Chatman.
Neighbors believe the 52-year-old woman had nowhere to go and was staying at the house to keep warm.
“I’d see homeless people now and then go through that house and I thought maybe somebody moved in. It makes me feel sad that someone has to be injured because they want to stay warm,” one neighbor said.
Others say there are several houses in the area that have become popular hangouts for drug users and the homeless.