Firefighters from several County Fire Districts are fighting a large commercial structure fire at the Washington Potato Company located in the 1900 block of West 1st Street in Warden.
Fire Command is “1st Street Command”.
The Warden Police and Grant County Sheriff Deputies are on-scene and providing traffic control.
More incoming fire resources are pouring into the area, with one 4×4 from Royal which is due to go around the rear of the structure to help with some tanks.
Some fire hydrants are being discovered as dead or dry, as firefighters work to locate additional water sources/supply.
A smell of natural gas was in the air and an immediate request to Dispatch to secure utilities.
Fire began to burn on the Alpha/Bravo side and Command sent out a broadcast for all members to stay away from the downwind side and out of the smoke. They are unsure what is burning or what is inside the smoke.
Current temps are 36*F with cloudy skies.
Level 1 Evacuation Notices
–> Issued for County Road U, to South of 170 <—
Command requested additional mutual engines and ladder units from Electric City, Warden and Ephrata departments. Resources are now being stated on SR 170 in Warden.
Around 2009 hours PT, fire coming through the roof and setting ablaze the packaging in the structure.
AVOID THE AREA. Possible toxic smoke is billowing out of the area and heading north from the structure.
IF YOU ARE IN THE AREA, yield to all emergency traffic. Pull to the right, when it is safe to do so.
ABOUT WARDEN, WASHINGTON
Warden is approximately 2.61 square miles with an estimated population of less than 3,000 residents.
Washington Potato Company has been an iconic staple in the area for several years and in business for the last 31 years. The company is described as a food processing and manufacturing, food products and wholesale of products.
This company has been in the news in 2017 when it was fined $100,000 for employment violations and originally in 2016 when it had a equipment lockout for repeated serious safety violations. This resulted in a serious workplace injury and being fined $213,160. Some of these violations were documented through various media outlets back to 2011.
Caused for this fire is unknown.
(c) 2021 NW Fire Blog – Updated 1/21/2021 2014 PT