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Fri Jul 9, 2021, 10:54 AM

Fireworks caused fatal NE Portland apartment fire, authorities say

Portland

Fireworks caused fatal NE Portland apartment fire, authorities say

Updated Jul 08, 2021; Posted Jul 08, 2021

By The Oregonian/OregonLive

Authorities have determined fireworks caused the fast-moving blaze that killed two people at a Northeast Portland apartment complex last weekend. ... Portland Fire & Rescue said an investigation into the fire, which engulfed the Heidi Manor apartments early Sunday, “remains open and ongoing.”

The blaze killed Seth Robert Thompson and Robert William Gremillion, both 31, roommates and longtime friends from Louisiana who worked together to develop computer games. Fire officials said Thursday that one other person, Thompson’s girlfriend, 25, remained in critical condition but was stable.

Residents who escaped, many jumping from rear bedroom windows or balconies, said they saw flames initially in a dumpster under the apartments, before they rolled up the stairs. Several also heard fireworks coming from the front of the complex before seeing flames about 3:30 a.m. on July Fourth.

According to witnesses, Thompson jumped from the outer porch of the apartment, then slowly rolled across the street to a curb where neighbors tried to help him and provide CPR. ... Other neighbors said they tried to get Gremillion to jump after he came out of his apartment, but he was in shock and couldn’t escape.

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Portland banned the sale and use of fireworks ahead of the July Fourth holiday. The ban is slated to remain in effect until noon on July 14.

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