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KOIN 6 News

Tire pile near Moda Center goes up in flames for second time

By Jenny YoungAndrew Foran,


PORTLAND, Ore. ( KOIN ) — The pile of shredded tires that lit on fire Thursday went up in flames again Monday morning, Portland fire officials said.

Just before 8:00 a.m., Portland Fire & Rescue shared on Twitter that the crews were responding to another fire at the pile just off the Steel Bridge.

Hoses were set up around the fire at a distance, including on the Steel Bridge itself for a while blocking traffic, fire officials said.

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The cause of the fire is unknown, but authorities said they were making good progress on extinguishing the blaze and the response has been pared down.
Water is used to douse a burning pile of tires near the Moda Center in Portland, May 29, 2023 (KOIN)

According to city records, the rubber is owned by a company called Castle Tire. The company exports the rubber chips and loads them on ships at a dock. It’s the second fire in the area in the last few days.

“What I think we’re seeing here is just a period of time where that hot spot has allowed air to get to it and then it crops itself up into a large enough fire that smoke begins to emanate and we show up and address it,” said Rick Graves with Portland Fire & Rescue.

Graves says investigators still don’t know what started flames last week, but it took an enormous amount of resources to get it under control and shut down traffic in the area for hours.

The current Portland fire code states that individual piles of tires cannot be piled higher than 10 feet, but it’s obvious that the pile at the Castle Tire location is higher than that.

According to city records, Castle Tire has appealed with the fire inspector asking if they can circumvent the fire code and install a high-tech camera system that’s able to quickly detect a fire — the appeal is currently on hold.

KOIN 6 News attempted to contact the owner of Castle Tire but hasn’t heard back.

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