Photo credit: the Lumberyard’s GoFundMe page
As you may have heard, there was a major fire over on Bridgetown Bites headquarter’s side of town (I could see the smoke from my house). On August 26, 2019 it burned in a section of the Madison South neighborhood around 82nd Avenue and NE Knott Street, seriously damaging nearby structures—homes and businesses. The Lumberyard—a local business, and one that was affected, though only lightly—has counted their lucky stars and organized a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for those who did not fare as well. Continue reading “Ride and Dine For Madison South at the Lumberyard In September”
Well, another day, another fire. I saw the news this evening on The Oregonian—two food carts in downtown Portland (SW First Avenue and Columbia Street) went up in flames and were totally destroyed. The cause? “A food cart employee filled a generator with gasoline and the gasoline spilled,” according to Portland Fire & Rescue spokeswoman Capt. Louisa Jones. But the detail missing from that statement is that the person was filling the generator with gas… while the generator was running. The gas spilled, there was an explosion, a fire, and the rest is history.
This is a very costly mistake. The Lai Thai and The Greek Gods Gyro food carts are totally gone; the Taqueria So Mexican cart survived. The fire spread and damaged about 10 cars. I am hopeful that all involved had insurance, too. On the bright side, nobody was hurt. Check the Oregonian for a compilation of tweeted photos from the scene.
This afternoon I heard the news of the fire at Big’s Chicken, and my heart sank. I’ve been meaning to stop by, telling myself, “Oh, I’ll get around to it soon.” Obviously I’ll have to wait to try their food, but my slight inconvenience is nothing compared to what Ben Dyer, co-owner of Big’s, is forced to deal with. He told The Oregonian that they’ll be “closed for months.” That’s got to be hard to face.
He also said that “everything above Big’s is a total loss.” That means 14 people from six apartment buildings are now homeless. What a heartbreak. Everyone is OK, thank goodness—Willamette Week reports that two people were rescued by firefighters on ladders, and another jumped out a window. I saw the footage of the jump on KGW’s site and I really wish there had been a warning about that footage before it auto-played. PRO TIP KGW PRODUCERS: auto play videos are never a good idea. KATU reports, “The Red Cross is providing temporary housing, food, clothing, comfort kits and other items to those people impacted by the fire.”
In light of this fire at Big’s, I’m reminded of two other restaurant fires that happened in the past year—Reo’s Ribs in May and Pie Spot + Tails & Trotters in February. I’m very sorry that all these restaurants have suffered from fires; I am glad to know Reo plans to rebuild and Pie Spot + Tails & Trotters are now open via food cart.
I hope the rebuilding process for Big’s is swift and easy. And I’ll be there for the chicken and jojos when they reopen.
Big’s Chicken, 5663 NE Glisan Street, Portland