Les Trois Soeurs


Fire video

At the edge of the highway on 5th Ave South near Franklin Avenue South. I’ve seen these three houses for many years and thought of them as the “Three Sisters.” Probably all built around the same time possibly by the same architects or builders. Once they did not overlook a highway, although Franklin and nearby Portland must always have been busy streets. Reports said 8 then 20 people were misplaced by the fire on December 11, 2015. The usual practice of opening up the roof to sacrifice a house to save neighboring houses applied. That acrid aroma that always reminds me of…

The one that of the three (at least its exterior)was the most original and least altered experienced the fire.

Will it be saved or demolished?

Looking at it the next day, I saw an older fellow who was likely the owner probably living far from the home his family may once have owned, probably unable or unwilling to repair it. Still he and a helper worked to clean up the pieces of burnt wood, shingles and broken glass from the sidewalks and grass. And the men from the Latino families that lived there in each side of the duplex, stood on the sidewalk in silence waiting to be allowed in to save what items they could, two weeks before Christmas.


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