The Portland Fire & Rescue Department said that the event was an "emotionally heightened situation"
A powerline collapsed in Portland, Oregon on Wednesday, killing three. A baby survived and was rescued from the scene.
The Portland Fire & Rescue Department was dispatched "near the intersection of NE 122 and NE Siskiyou in the Russel Neighborhood" shortly before 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday due to a "possible car fire."
The department said in a news release that while en route to the scene, they received information from the dispatch center stating that there were "reports of a person on fire in the street, a power line down in the street, unsure if the person is electrocuted, victim still down in the street, another hysterical caller on this says 4 patients here including a baby with someone on fire, three people laying in the street unconscious."
The news release stated that it was an "emotionally heightened situation" and that the firefighters were "preparing for everything based on the range of rapidly updated information."
Once they arrived, they found three individuals "located approximately 35' away from a full-size SUV with a powerline draped over the vehicle with a large tree branch over the top of the powerline resting on the hood of the SUV."
They were identified as "two adults and a reported teen" who were confirmed to be deceased after a medical evaluation. The baby was "found to be unaffected by the situation" and was transported to a local hospital after being located with a community member living in an adjacent area.
The department said that "no flames were present" and that the power company de-energized the powerline.
"The individuals affected were occupants of the SUV and exited the vehicle following the branch bringing the live powerline down upon their vehicle. When the feet of the individuals touched the ground, and their bodies were touching the car they became part of the active electrical circuit which resulted in their deaths," the press release read.
Oregon — like much of the U.S. — has been facing severe winter weather. On Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service reported that roads remained "covered in ice & extremely slick across much of NW Oregon & SW Washington, especially in the Portland/Vancouver metro area."
"The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) urges the public to avoid travel tonight and Thursday morning, as a forecast of freezing rain overnight tonight -- and again Thursday evening -- could make travel hazardous," the press release read.
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City officials advised their residents to "be prepared for worse conditions than expected, as forecasts come with uncertainty about timing and amount of freezing rain."
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