In news from Portland Tribune property The Outlook, an early morning fire at a popular eatery and watering hole not only resulted in a near-total loss but was also preceded by a burglar alarm activation and a drive-by by sheriffs. 

Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the fire and are not saying whether the earlier burglar alarm activation and the following fire are related in any way, noting that fire investigation is made difficult by the extensive wood frame construction and the speed at which the fire spread and led to a near-total loss.

“Right now we’re pretty sure it started on the second floor,” said a deputy fire marshal investigator with Gresham Fire & Emergency Services in the story. “It burned hot and everything quickly fell through to the first floor.”

The story noted that “the resulting mass of charred wood and rubble from the wood-framed 1940s building makes finding relevant clues to the fire’s origin a tedious task.”

The fire, at Shirley’s Tippy Canoe in Troutdale, Oregon, started early in the morning on Friday, January 17. Flames were reported on te second floor of the restaurant a couple of hours after the burglar alarm was investigated with a sheriff’s drive-by. Seeing nothing amiss, law-enforcement declared the alarm false and quickly re-routed to another call for service.

“[A law enforcement official] noted that the Tippy Canoe’s burglar alarm was activated likely between 3:45 and 4 a.m., alerting the sheriff’s office, which sent a deputy with a K9 unit to the business. ‘(The deputy) drove by slowly and didn’t see anybody there or anything suspicious,” the official said, in the story, adding that the K9 unit was then re-routed to another call elsewhere. Around an hour later, another deputy reported seeing flames in the upstairs windows.

One can not help but wonder if perhaps the earlier burglar alarm was a valid activation warning of an intrusion, for a burglary, say, and if, perhaps the fire was set to cover up tracks.

It will be interesting to follow this story along and see what clues, if any, are uncovered.

What are your thoughts? Norris welcomes your comments below.

One also wonders if there were properly functioning fire alarm devices on the premises. 

Drop Norris a line today and find out how we can help to keep you safe.

What is Norris all about?

Norris, Inc.—a South Portland, Maine-based life-safety and security systems integrator with satellite offices in Bangor, Maine; Lee, New Hampshire; and Burlington, Vermont—was founded nearly 40 years ago by two brothers, Brad and Harty Norris. The brothers remain on the board of directors today and continue to help steer the enterprise toward its goal of advancing life-safety, security, and communications while striving to grow in its status as Northern New England’s leading systems integrator. Norris provides fully integrated life-safety and security solutions, comprising disparate systems including fire alarm, intrusion detection, access control, video surveillance, communications, and emergency notification and total systems integration via the Vigilance Systems Integration Engine and ENS. Want to become part of the Norris family? We’re hiring!