Portland Squatters Occupied a Shuttered Tavern, It Ignited Suddenly

Firefighters from Portland, Oregon, worked to put out a flame at a former bar that, according to nearby residents, had been occupied by squatters for well over a year.

An area resident named Dusty McCord told The Oregonian, “It was clearly a time b0mb waiting to go off, and our concerns fell through the cracks.” This was in reference to the demolished Farmer’s Barn Tavern. As one person put it, “The level of negligence is breathtaking.”

According to McCord, settlers at the building have assaulted neighbors, threatened individuals with weapons, and hacked down trees for kindling. According to the news article, the property owners submitted a demolition permit to the city in February but still await clearance.

Portland Squatters Occupied a Shuttered Tavern

When firefighters arrived at the scene at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday (April 19), flames were already shooting out of the roof. Utility providers also had to temporarily cut off electricity in the vicinity as firefighters began searching the structure but were forced to flee as the fire spread. Around 40 firemen were working to put out the blaze at one point.

No one was hurt, and the fire did not spread to any nearby structures. Firefighters are looking into what caused it. Eight fires were attended to at the shuttered bar last year, so firefighters are familiar with the building, PF&R said in a news statement.

The building is on the fire department’s dangerous list because of structural issues, as indicated by a red square with a reflective white “U” on the side of the structure.

Rick Graves of PF&R told KOIN 6 News, “There has been a history of in and out the usage of that location.” “Portland Fire is constantly addressing some of these abandoned buildings.”

Despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent by state and municipal governments since 2014, Oregon’s homeless population has continued to rise.

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An additional nuisance complaint against the facility was submitted by nearby residents only days before the fire, according to The Oregonian, making this the seventh code enforcement issue at the former bar in the previous four years.

To quote a resident, “For about the last 18 months, the building has been a complete nuisance with squatters and campers,” Eric Marentette told KOIN 6. As the saying goes, “There’s been a lot of theft.”

This year, at least five derelict structures in Portland have caught fire. “I think the city needs to figure out better ways to deal with this before it comes to this result,” Marentette said. “I don’t think the city seems equipped to deal with it until they’re embarrassed [when] a city council meeting or news organizations take them to task.”

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Anya K.

Anya is a passionate news writer who has been covering local and national stories for Focushillsboro.com for the past five years. With a sharp eye for detail and a dedication to accuracy, Anya brings a fresh perspective to each article she writes, whether it's a breaking news story or an in-depth feature.Anya's love of journalism began at a young age, when she would devour newspapers and magazines, fascinated by the power of words to inform and inspire. She went on to study journalism in college, where she honed her skills as a writer and reporter, and discovered a talent for investigative journalism.

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