Fire rescue: 'This time it was the real deal'

Fire rescue: 'This time it was the real deal'

PORTLAND, Ore. – Carl Sizelove didn't run from danger; instead, he ran into a fire and likely saved a life Monday afternoon.

"It's hard to get people out of the building and stuff, because of the false alarms, because they happen so frequently," said Sizelove. "This time it was the real deal, so I just went in and put out the fire."

The fire broke out at the Henry Building at 309 S.W. 4th Avenue just before 4:30 p.m. in Old Town. A 50-year-old man was taken to the hospital.

One apartment did burn and there was quite a bit of water damage.

When Sizelove heard the fire alarm go off, he said went looking for smoke.

"A lot of times in this building there's people that burn their cooking and stuff," he said. "I automatically just go to see which room it is and see if it's a fire or not."

Two floors below, Sizelove found smoke coming out from under an apartment door. He barged inside with a fire extinguisher and found a man trapped.

"The flames were full on … and he was standing in the corner. It looked like he was trying to fan them out. And it got so smoky in there I could barely see him," he said.

Sizelove said he kept at it with the fire extinguisher until the building's sprinkler system kicked in. Firefighter showed up soon after and brought the man down and outside.

"He was just totally covered in black, until he started wiping his face, I could see around his face and ears. He was burned," Sizelove said.

Burned, but alive – the man likely saved by a fast-acting neighbor.

"If I hadn't done what I done, he probably wouldn't have got out. He'd be dead," Sizelove said. "He was trapped in the corner, in the far corner of the room, and you couldn't see to get out of there. It was so thick."

Investigators said the combination of a home oxygen system and a cigarette started the fire.

Initial fire damage is at about $1,000 but that will go up when water damage is factored in.

The victim was taken to Legacy Emanuel's Burn Center, but there was no word on his condition Monday night.