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Portland Fire and Rescue Arson Squad Arrests Serial Arsonist

Monday, November 16, 2015

 

Surveillance footage of Brandon Miller; courtesy of Portland Fire and Rescue

Portland Police and the Portland Fire and Rescue Arson Squad arrested a man that they say started a series of 10 fire in Southeast Portland on Thursday.

Brandon J. Miller was arrested on Saturday and booked into Multnomah County Jail on charges of arson and reckless burning. Miller told police he was homeless and living on the streets of Portland after moving from California. 

Investigators said that surveillance video from multiple sources, along with cooperation and attention from victims led to Miller’s quick arrest. A staff member at the location of one of the fires spotted Miller near the scene of the original crimes and called police.

Surveillance video allowed police to piece together the sequence of events as Miller allegedly lit multiple fires. Investigators said the video showed Miller lighting fires before casually walking away. Portland Fire and Rescue Engine 4 was putting out one fire as he was lighting another near by.

All told, police say Miller started fires at these locations:

806 SW Broadway - 50-gallon plastic garbage bin filled with garbage. 

422 SW Broadway - Entryway magazine cart burned. 

522 SW 5th Avenue - 50-gallon plastic garbage bin filled with garbage. 

627 SW Washington Street - 1.5-yard metal recycle bin filled with cardboard. 

621 SW Morrison Street - Metal dumpster with garbage in it. 

SW 6th Avenue and Morrison Street - Metal garbage can filled with garbage. 

630 SW Alder Street - 50-gallon plastic garbage bin with garbage. 

610 SW Broadway - 50-gallon plastic garbage bin with garbage. 

554 SW Alder Street - 3-yard blue metal recycle bin filled with cardboard. 

506 SW Washington Street - In foyer, stack of newspapers burned on small table. 

 

Related Slideshow: 10 Significant Portland Fires

A four-alarm fire ripped through South Albany High School Wednesday morning, causing more than $1 million in damage. 

The community will spend the coming weeks and months recovering from the blaze -- but it's not the first time a fire has significantly impacted a Portland area school, church or neighborhood building.  

Here are 10 significant fires to recently impact Portland area communities. 

Prev Next

Thunderbird on the River - September 2012 

Thunderbird on the River, formerly the Red Lion Hotel, which had been vacant since 2005, was destroyed in a fire that caused more than $5 million in damages. 

One of only two five-alarm fires in recent years, the abandoned hotel on Hayden Island was home to multiple transient people and its owners owed more than $1 million in property taxes when it burned. 

Photo: YouTube / Michelle Kottwitz 

Prev Next

Monroe Apartments - August 2013 

The 46-unit apartment complex under construction on NE Monroe St. and NE MLK Boulevard burned to the ground in a five-alarm fire in August 2013. Officials estimated the damage to be $4 million. 

Investigators later determined the blaze in the six-story development was caused by arson. 

Photo: Flash Alert Newswire 

Prev Next

Eola Hills Charter School - October 2013

The Eola Hills Charter School, a small school in the Amity School District in Polk County burned to the ground in October 2013. 

The school, previously called the Ballston Community School, moved its 42 students to a McMinnville church following the blaze. 

Prev Next

Open Meadow High School  - April 2014

The Victorian house turned alternative school on Portland’s North Crawford Street was set to close the following year. The fire caused an estimated $50,000 in damage. 

The property, now restored, is currently for sale. 

Prev Next

St. Andrews Church - April 2013 

A two-alarm fire during Sunday service at the Presbyterian church on SW Sunset Boulevard caused the entire congregation to be evacuated. 

Damages from the fire, which started in the church’s game room, were estimated to be $20,000. 

Prev Next

Crestline Elementary - February 2013 

The Vancouver, Washington elementary burned down when a 17-year-old boy, later sentenced to 10 days in custody, started a fire on the school grounds. 

The three-alarm fire caused more than $20 million in damage, but the school was rebuilt, and reopened for the 2014-2015 school year. 

Photo: YouTube / Noah Patraw 

Prev Next

Marysville Elementary School - November 2009

The historic Southeast Portland elementary school was destroyed in a three-alarm blaze in which 500 students and teachers had to be evacuated. 

The school reopened in January 2013, after roughly $4.5 million in repairs. 

Photo: Youtube / Oregonashman

Prev Next

South Albany High School - April 2015 

A four-alarm fire ripped through South Albany High School Wednesday morning, causing more than $1 million in damage. 

The fire was in the school's cafeteria and auditorium, cancelling class for South Albany's 1,300 students. Oregon Governor Kate Brown visited the site of the blaze. 

Photo: Lebanon Fire District 

Prev Next

Chapman Elementary School - August 2013

A teacher arriving early fortunately spotted the orange glow of a growing fire in the Northwest Portland elementary school.

Fire investigators determined the blaze was caused by oily rags left in a trash can. 

Photo: Wikimedia Commons 

Prev Next

Apolistic Faith Church - February 2013 

A two-alarm fire damaged the church at Southeast 52nd Avenue and Duke Street in February 2013. 

The blaze, which started in the attic and presented multiple structural challenges for firefighters, due to the building's sloped roof. It caused roughly $1 million in damage. 

 
 

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