Friday, September 7, 2012

Five Alarm Fire on Hayden Island

We went into Portland for dinner last night and saw this:

Photo by Zachary Kaufman

This was the Tunderbird Hotel just across the Columbia River from us on Hayden Island. It was still smoldering on Thursday night, after the fire broke out Sunday morning. We didn't arrive in town until  Wednesday so we missed it but we our apartment is close enough we would have been able to see the smoke from our apartment had we been here. The river is within walking distance.

The building has been vacant since 2005 and The Columbian has reported the owner of the property owes back taxes of over $1 milllion dollars. Certainly sounds suspicious but the cause has yet to be determined.

The property is just west of I-5 and if a new bridge is ever built there, it would certainly impact this property. Many of the stores here have been vacant although there has been some recent construction that suggests someone thinks things will turn around in this area.

This fire was huge. More than one million gallons had been used on Sunday.
“We had to call the Water Bureau to make sure we weren’t depleting the city of all its water,” he said.
Last night, we could see they were still pouring water on hot spots and during the night we could still smell the smoke in our apartment.

This two-minute video is a press conference in which all the statistics are mentioned. Pretty amazing.

I have some shopping to do on Hayden Island today. I'm sure there will still be some activity at the scene. It's been tying up traffic all week.

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