Oregon Cities

Portland police investigating car fire in front of Commissioner Gonzalez’s house

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Portland police have opened an arson investigation after an unoccupied car ignited outside of City Commissioner Rene Gonzalez’s Eastmoreland house early Friday morning.

The car, a 2024 Honda Accord that belonged to Gonzalez’s family, was parked on the street in front of Gonzalez’s house. The 1:30 a.m. explosion was caused by a fire that investigators believe was “intentionally set.” Gonzalez and his family were home at the time.

Gonzalez, who oversees Portland Fire & Rescue, said firefighters were able to extinguish the fire before it spread to other cars or buildings. His office said the city is ramping up security measures in his neighborhood.

“My neighborhood is filled with both families and seniors, and we must do everything in our power to protect them,” Gonzalez said in a statement Friday afternoon. “I am grateful that nobody was physically harmed as a result of this incident.”

Police have not made any arrests or identified any suspects in this case.

Gonzalez was elected to City Council in 2022. He’s one of three members of council running for mayor this year.

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt called the alleged arson an “act of political vandalism.”

“Commissioner Gonzalez and everyone else in a public leadership role is here to serve this community because they love this community,” Schmidt said in a media statement. “Everybody is free to agree or disagree with me, the Commissioner, or any public servant or political candidate. But threats, vandalism, arson, violence, or any other form of illegal coercion will not be tolerated.”

“Heading into election season, we will have disagreements,” said Schmidt, who is running for reelection this year. “Let’s keep it peaceful and respect each other, each others’ property, and the law.”

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