Thousands evacuated near Portland scrapyard fire


PORTLAND, Ore. (KATU/CNN) – A massive scrapyard fire in a Portland, Oregon neighborhood caused havoc Monday. Thousands of residents had to flee their homes.

Nearby resident Melanie Axton has been waiting all day to go back home. Monday morning she heard loud noises outside. “I thought I was hearing gunshots, Because i was hearing a lot of popping,” she later said.

When she looked outside she saw large flames towering over her neighbor’s two story building. She explained, “I took some video. It was like a movie. It was really high flames, like way high. Just was black smoke everywhere you couldn’t even see to the end of the street.”

She’s lived on northeast 75th since she was 18. When asked if she knows the condition of her home, Melanie replied, “I don’t, no. But, I’m told my home is still intact.”

Her neighbors didn’t know much either. The only way they could get answers was if they came to look themselves.

Evacuee Salvador Candela said, “Seems okay for the front but I don’t know about the back how is it.” KATU saw a firetruck pouring water over Candela’s apartment. He’s anxious to return, saying, “Just hanging out. I’m waiting to see what’s going to happen.”

Most people said they’ve made plans to stay with family.

Victoria Hoffman came back to her house to get clothes for her sons. She said, “I worried. I panicked. My entire life is in that home. I have three boys and my fiancé. Everything was in there.”

Monday night, she thought of her neighbors who lost their homes. “You have to pick up from the bottom hopefully society is going to help them as well,” Hoffman said.

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