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Wind spreads fire through SE Portland garage, displaces family for the night

Garafe fire in SE Portland - KATU photo from Catherine Van

With Saturday's strong wind, it didn't take long for the flames to spread through the garage of a home on the corner of SE Center Street and SE 78th Avenue.

No one was home during the time of the fire and no one was hurt, but two cats did not make it out.

Leila Chieko lives down the street. She said she could smell the smoke from her home. She ran outside to see what was going on and captured the fiery moments on her cell phone.

"I was wondering if they were home, I don't know I just started videoing," said Chieko.

If it wasn't the smoke, it was the flashing red and blue lights that brought other neighbors like Andrew Holmes outside.

Just like the most recent fires out of Southern California, this one was wind-driven.

The wind fueled flames and spread smoke quicker than normal. Portland Fire & Rescue say one of the windows was open, which pushed the fire more rapidly through the garage.

Chieko says the family moved in less than two years ago. Now, this Christmas, they'll have to worry if their new home can be salvaged.

"I'm heartbroken about their house. I'm glad they're okay," said Chieko.

"I feel really sad. My heart goes out to the family because it's wintertime, their house is ruined now," said Holmes. "Say a prayer for them."

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