Update 4:40 p.m.

Forest Avenue has reopened to traffic  following a fire in a residential building earlier today.

Portland Police Lt. Gary Hutcheson said motorists should feel free to use the roadway.


Update 3:22 p.m.

Firefighters quickly knocked down a fire in a residential building on Forest Avenue.

The fire was reported shortly after 2 p.m. when smoke was seen billowing for upstairs windows.

Gerald Kazilionis and Abdelghani Ahmed, both 17-year-old students of Casco Bay High School, were headed to football practice when they saw evidence of a fire in the building.

“There was a huge fog of smoke and flames coming out the windows,” Ahmed said.

The two circled the exterior of the house checking for anyone who might be inside, Kazilionis said. 

Ernestine Chabot, who said she lived on the first floor, escaped uninjured with her children. She sat and watched as firemen put out the fire and inspected the residence.

“I haven’t been home for four days,” she said, not knowing how the fire started.

When she noticed smoke, she was in the rear of the building with her son Jeremy Michelson, 18.

Further details information about the cause of the fire are unavailable at this time and the section of Forest Avenue remains closed.

2:58 p.m.

Emergency vehicles responding to a fire have closed Forest Avenue for about a block.

The fire in a residential building on Forest have brought seven fire trucks to the scene. Firefighters are in the building and the fire appears to be under control.

Traffic heading west on Forest is being diverted on to Walton Street.