PORTLAND, Ore. - A two-alarm fire sparked by ashes from a barbecue destroyed three buildings in north Portland Sunday morning, causing more than $400,000 in damage, fire officials said.
According to Portland Fire & Rescue, firefighters responded to the intersection of North Williams Avenue and Northeast Going Street about 6:30 a.m. after receiving a report of a building on fire.
When crews arrived they found three buildings on fire. They eventually determined that everyone had made it out of them safely.
No one was injured.
About 55 firefighters battled the blaze, which destroyed the three buildings at 4555 N. Williams Avenue and 16 North Going Street.
Michael Wilson lived in one of those buildings. He said he stayed inside as long as he could during the blaze in order to look for his cats.
"I heard the cats screaming," he said.
He eventually had to jump out of a second-floor window without the cats to escape.
Fire melted many of Wilson's art tools, paint supplies and even a motorcycle. Wilson's friend Don Minnerly builds furniture on the first floor. Many of his tools also got damaged.
Neither man has insurance.
Wilson said both of his cats perished in the fire.
Fire investigators believe the blaze started after someone spread barbecue ashes on grass and the resulting fire spread into the buildings.