Attic fire impacts three Portland businesses

A fire spread from a porch to the attic space of three Portland businesses on September 1, 2017. (SBG photo) 

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Fire and Rescue closed Northeast 7th Avenue between East Burnside street and Southeast Ankeny Street while they contained a fire burning at a restaurant building.

Crews responded to the fire in the 600 block of East Burnside Street at 5:03 a.m.

When firefighters arrived on scene, they found B-Side Tavern's back deck on fire.

“Someone had set a bus tub with a garbage bag on fire in the B-Side patio,” said Andrew Stewart, a Sizzle Pie employee.

They said the fire moved from the deck to the building's attic.

Crews knocked the deck fire down quickly. But they said the attic took more time since the fire was burning in a concealed space.

No one was injured.

The fire affected Sizzle Pie, B-Side Tavern, and Mini Mini.

Employees at Sizzle Pie said a suspicious man walked into the restaurant after hours before the fire started.

“I was in the office with another one of my co-workers and this guy just walks in like he knew what he was doing, gave me a pat on the arm and says, ‘How’s it going man,’” Stewart said.

Thrown off by the unusual encounter, Stewart and his co-workers asked the man to leave the restaurant and called police.

“We were all pretty scared because he was like looking through our windows for an extended period of time, yelling stuff at us,” he said.

When officers arrived, Stewart says the man ran towards Northeast 7th Avenue and East Burnside Street.

Investigators believe the suspicious man was caught on camera.

“We have surveillance, B-Side has surveillance, Mini Mini has surveillance, they are probably going to get him hopefully,” said Stewart.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Sizzle Pie will be closed Friday, but will reopen Saturday.

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