A couple in Southeast Portland, Oregon, said Tuesday that a fire originating from an abandoned home next door, occupied by squatters, nearly spread to their property.
Jacob and Beth Adam told KPTV the homeless people who live in a derelict house next door have repeatedly set fires on the property, once twice in a single day, the most recent of which nearly set their home on fire.
According to the couple, this incident is part of a larger pattern of disruptive incidents that they attribute to the nearby homeless population, per KPTV:
I don’t know how many times I’ve talked to police because people are screaming or someone is overdosing. It’s just countless, countless first responders’ calls. We all have to love our neighbor no matter who they are. But at the point when they start setting your place on fire it becomes a little more difficult.
Adams can be seen on video using a fire extinguisher to combat a fire quickly approaching his fence as propane tanks burst.
A neighbor, Armand Martens, 83, also expressed his frustration to the outlet.
“I felt safer when I was walking around in downtown Saigon when I was in Vietnam than I do here in Portland,” he said.
Jacob Adams recalled to KPTV that these disturbances have persisted despite “countless, countless first responders’ calls.”
The Adamses are not the only Portland residents to take notice of the issues associated with the city’s widespread homeless problem.
In November, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported the city council had voted to ban camping on streets in favor of larger-scale encampments.
The Associated Press noted later that the city approved $27 million dollars for one such designated camping area.
KGW 8 reported in December that the city had removed 50 encampments out of 500 assessed in total.
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