Good Samaritan races to alert families about 2-alarm fire

Good Samaritan races to alert families about 2-alarm fire »Play Video
A still image of the fire taken from a video. (Photo courtesy Arin Marcus)

MILWAUKIE, Ore. - A 2-alarm fire raced through a Milwaukie apartment complex on Friday and thanks to a Good Samaritan, everyone got out safely.

The fire broke out around 10 a.m. at the Clackamas Trail Apartments in the 10400 block of Southeast Cook Court. Firefighters said they found heavy flames on the second and third story of the building when they arrived.

No one was hurt, thanks to the quick action from a man who saw smoke from across the street.

"All of a sudden a big bunch of black smoke came up behind me and I took off running," said Arin Marcus. "I came up to this building and maintenance was already here knocking on doors. I said the heck with knocking on doors. I went into every apartment that was open."

There were two families who were sleeping and did not know what was happening.

There was also a wheelchair-bound man on oxygen who was asleep and his daughter was sleeping as well. The man, William Brannan, told KATU he was very grateful that someone got the two of them out of there.

"If he hadn't knocked like he did I'd probably still be sleeping," Brannan said.

"All of a sudden I hear someone knocking on my door really loudly," Breanna Brannan said. "It come to see who's there and next thing I know someone's telling me it's a fire."

Firefighters said heavy winds helped the fire quickly spread through the building.

Six units were damaged by the flames. In the unit where the fire started, a person was in the shower when the whole apartment started filling up with black smoke. The folks who live in the unit believe the fire started in the kitchen.

Fire investigators said they still interviewing witnesses and don't yet have an official cause. There is a fire wall built into the complex and it did its job by keeping the flames from spreading to even more units.

In total, 12 people were displaced. They are getting help from the Red Cross.

This is the third time in recent weeks that Good Samaritans have helped out in a fire.

In Oregon City, a man who was handing out fliers noticed smoke coming from a house, heard a smoke alarm and then someone inside yelling for help. He crawled underneath the smoke and helped a woman get out.

In Troutdale, a teenager saved an 8-year-old boy who was trapped on an upper floor of a home that had caught fire. He climbed up a ladder and helped get the boy down to the ground.