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September 3, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Arson not ruled out in $5.6M fire at vacant Portland hotel

The Associated Press

PORTLAND – Fire officials say a dramatic fire at vacant hotel in North Portland has caused an estimated $5.6 million in damages.

Portland Fire & Rescue spokesman Michael Silva tells the Oregonian that arson has not been ruled out as a cause of the five-alarm fire that took more than 200 fire crew members from around the region to put out.

The fire destroyed major portions of the historic hotel located near Interstate 5. The freeway was closed for several hours early Sunday because fire embers were hitting cars on the highway and smoke was limiting visibility.

Although the former Thunderbird on the River Hotel on Hayden Island has been vacant for several years, the building was being used for storage, including mattresses and other furniture, which contributed to the spread of the fire.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: fire, Portland

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