Wash. Commercial Structure Fire Destroys Fabricating Business

EPHRATA, WA 09/19/06 - A commercial structure fire was reported just before 1900 hours at Renaissance Technology, 1732 Basin St SW, on Monday, September 18, 2006. Multiple calls to the 911 center reported heavy fire showing at the rear of the building, which housed an industrial fabricating business.

Chief Jeremy R. Burns (20-01) arrived four minutes after the time of alarm and discovered heavy fire showing from the Bravo-Charlie side of the older 60' x 200', ordinary construction, 1.5 and 2 story warehouse building.

The ICP was set up 150 feet from the Alpha-Bravo corner. First-due Ephrata Engine 21-11 attempted an aggressive attack on the Bravo side, but the crew was forced out of the building due to exploding welding tanks, extreme fire activity, and the partial collapse of the weakened, wood joist & steel beam-supported shiplap roof, which quickly experienced a total failure.

After retreating and transitioning to a defensive attack, a PAR was conducted with favorable results, ICS was expanded to meet incident objectives, and firefighters on three sides engaged master streams from the ground and from three aerial trucks to extinguish the fire. There were no injuries.

Over 65 responders from Ephrata FD and Grant County Fire Districts 3, 5, 7 and 13, battled the blaze for over four hours before bringing it under control around midnight. A total of four engine companies, three ladder companies, one rescue company, one ambulance, several support units, three fire chaplains and three command units answered the call for help. Preliminary loss estimate is $1-million. This incident remains under investigation by the Region 6 Fire & Explosion Investigation Task Force.