Neighbors of the Apartment Are Also Facing Challenges After the Fire

On May 16, Portland Fire and Rescue remained on the scene overnight to continue dumping water on the building, and the fire bureau reports that Tuesday’s fire at the corner of Southwest 14th Avenue and Taylor Street is entirely extinguished

According to the building manager, at least 100 people were displaced by the fire on the third floor of the May Apartments at 1410 S.W. Day Tuesday at about 10:30 a.m. Taylor Street.

The fire department was concerned that the 1910 building would collapse because it was built without masonry. Isaac McLennan, president of Portland’s fire union, said Wednesday morning that the building was still standing while firefighters assessed the situation and planned future actions.

Rene Gonzalez, a spokesman for the fire department, claimed that they had successfully evacuated all 42 residents but that some pets had perished in the blaze. On Wednesday, firefighters are checking the condition of the building before going inside. Spokesman Nathan Shepard quoted an arson investigator from the Portland Police Bureau as saying there was not enough evidence to determine the cause of the fire.

The surrounding roads remain closed on Wednesdays as well. Salmon Street to Yamhill Street on Southwest 14th Avenue and 13th Avenue to 15th Avenue on Southwest Taylor Street.

According to the fire department, 45 pizzas were delivered to evacuees Tuesday by a mutual aid group. TriMet provided free bus rides to a Red Cross shelter for locals who needed to attend the University of Portland.
When the May Apartments caught fire on May 16, Portland Fire and Rescue crews rushed to the Southwest 14th Ave. and Taylor St. scene to rescue Maxwell Hall.

The rep released a statement to Fox 12 that read in part:

Firefighters controlled the blaze before it spread and seriously damaged surrounding areas. Much of the damage to Maxwell Hall was avoided in May, but the effects on the occupants were still significant.

Brian Schoeffler, a four-year resident of Maxwell Hall, received news of the fire on May 16 as he was returning home from work.

As Schaeffler said, “It was the worst-case scenario you know?” When I returned, firefighters sprayed water and thick smoke was in the air.

At that point, Schaeffler joined Maxwell and May’s others in a temporary shelter at the University of Portland. He has been under protection for some time, but now he needs to find a new place to live. According to Schoeffler, Maxwell Hall has been declared dangerous by the Portland Bureau of Development Services because it has been at risk of collapsing at any time since May. For Schaeffler and thousands like him, being forced to relocate without access to their belongings is a significant hardship.

Neighbors of the Apartment Are Also Facing Challenges After the Fire
Neighbors of the Apartment Are Also Facing Challenges After the Fire

Schoeffler said, “Even if I’m able to find a place eventually, you have a new place, but your whole life is in that room.”

A Bureau of Development Services representative said a contractor was hired to assess smoke and water damage at Maxwell, but the building remains inaccessible. The public cannot enter the Maxwell Hall building since there is still a danger of falling from May’s apartment. Per OSHA regulations, the owner of the Maxwell Hall building may allow its contractor to remove and relocate residents’ belongings.

Schaeffler claims that he and the other tenants of Maxwell Hall received a refund of the security deposit and half a month’s rent. It is currently unknown when the building will be repaired and ready to return to residents. Schaeffler worries that he’ll be out of luck if he waits too long to move out of his old building.

All our belongings are still inside, but he commented that it would be a pity if water damage caused structural damage.

It would be a great relief to have your luggage returned to us.

Louis Ebert

Louis Ebert is a talented content writer with a passion for creating compelling stories and informative articles. With years of experience in writing, Louis has honed their skills in crafting engaging content that resonates with readers.As a content writer for, Louis explores the many facets of life in Hillsboro and the surrounding areas. From delving into the latest trends in local business to highlighting community events and leaders, their writing offers a unique perspective that captures the essence of the area.

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