“WE ARE NOT ABLAZE IN PORTLAND,” Lt. Rich Chatman, a spokesman for Portland Fire & Rescue, said in a text message to CNN on Monday night. “There is a very isolated pocket of demonstrations that have involved fire, none of which has been substantial enough to need more than 1 fire engine.”
There have been protests in Portland every night since late May, when they broke out following the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police. Some of them have featured vandalism and violence.
Chatman said there have been fires set “just about every night” of the protests. He said most of the fires, though, have involved contents “inside dumpsters or trash cans and away from any structures.” He said there have also been “a handful of incidents that involve direct attempts at starting a building fire,” which he said have been worrisome, but he added, “I would like to emphasize again: this is a small group of demonstrators.”
As Trump tries to convince voters that Democratic opponent Joe Biden is a radical, he has made a concerted effort to depict cities led by Democratic mayors as dangerous.
Trump made another false claim about Portland and fire in a Fox News interview that aired Monday night. Without elaboration, he told host Laura Ingraham that “Portland’s been burning for many years — for decades, it’s been burning.”
Chatman called this “ridiculous.”