Firefighters were dispatched to a mostly abandoned two-story commercial structure fire on Friday, February 5, 2021, in the area of Grand River and Grand Boulevard.
First-due units arrived to a fully engulfed 150 x 50 structure, reporting to Dispatch as a two-story commercial structure (0349 PT) in the 700 block of Grand River.
After going into defensive operations for several hours, Command escalated the incident to a 3rd alarm. (0523 PT). Challenges for firefighters included high winds and dropping temps.
One person was injured and transported to an area local hospital. Their condition is unknown at this time.
At 1730 Hours PT, there were still over 10,000 people still listening to the live Scanner Feed.
A Commercial Box Alarm includes dispatched units that include four engine companies, two ladder companies, two squad companies, two Chief units, one ambulance, one EMS Supervisor. When a 2nd and 3rd Alarm occurs, it is said to double the current resources on-scene.
Video footage can be seen on area local news outlets. Info was not published on any government fire or police accounts.
ABOUT THE FIRE BUILDING
The commercial structure is about 47,600 square feet, that is designed for retail space that is located just off of I-96 on Grand River Avenue and two blocks west of Grand Boulevard.
This building was up for sale as of 12/16/2016 but the advertisement on a real estate website has been removed prior to today’s fire. At the time, the seller was motivated to sell stating, ’13 commercial units on ground floor and 36 apartment rooms on first and second floors. Major capital investment was made in 2011 on the exterior facade. Needs some rehab.
Building is located on a major avenue with a traffic count over 20,000 cars on a daily basis.’
The property was said to be built in 1926 and last sold in 1997 for $93,750.
A large fire ignited in the Washington Potato Company’s processing plant’s dehyrdator around 1730 hours PT on Thursday, January 21, 2021, that prompted originally Level 1 evacuations. Due to a possible ammonia tank explosion, Command urgently requested it be elevated to a Level 3.
The plant is located in the 1900 block of West 1st Street in Warden, Washington State.
Local, State and County and fire officials began going door-to-door and evacuating residents within a 1.5 mile radius around the commercial fire.
Fire Command reported several explosions inside the fire building, which was one of several on the commercial campus. Concerns of another tank, which held propane was also being taken as a precautionary measure.
Fire units from surrounding areas, such as, Royal City, Grant County Fire District #13, Ephrata, Moses Lake and a large response from others. As the fire behavior began to become more dangerous for members, Command advised all units to pull back from the fire and let it burn. Some retreated to staging, a mile safely away from the chaotic fire ground.
Residents were allowed to return to their homes after the imminent danger passed over. This occurred at 0048 hours PT, when Fire Command deemed it safe.
At the height of the Level 3 evacuation orders (LEAVE NOW), 1st Street Command observed that most of the ammonia that had leaked out had mostly vented all of the product out of it. Large amounts of water were poured over the fire building in what’s call “Surround and Drown” tactics, where they basically position all of their ladders or water towers over what’s burning until it goes out.
About 3,000 City of Warden residents, which is mostly their area’s population was evacuated but have been allowed to return to their homes, just after midnight on Friday morning.
This plant is no stranger to having a history of several State fines for discrimination or other safety violations.
JUNE 2020. At the Pasco plant, the Warden’s parent company was fined $92,400 by the Washington State L&I agency for the same violation over the last three years after a worker suffered a fractured wrist and partially amputated finger when his hand got caught in a conveyor while he was cleaning it. It is required for businesses to have a lockout/tagout system to prevent the machinery from starting or moving during service and maintenance. The penalty for repeat-serious lockout/tagout violations is $52,800. (news media)
JUNE 15, 2020. An employment firm reported to local news outlets, that layoffs at the Lamb West potato productions plants
JUNE 2016. The company was fined for repeated serious safety violations that resulted in a serious workplace injury. The fine was $213,160.This was the same violation as in 2020 and in 2014. The company was cited for five repeat-serious and three repeat-general violations, plus 15 additional serious violations. They have been flagged as a severe violator and is subject to future follow-up inspections to verify they are in compliance. (Source: Potato industry news article)
JULY 2009. The Company was cited by the EPA, when they failed to report approximately 300 pounds of anhydrous ammonia into the environment, according to a source that reports on EPA news. This facility was listed in the same location as this fire, which states they produce dried and dehydrated frozen potato products. The leak is said to have occurred when a circuit breaker failed, causing a pressure relief valve to open and releasing the anhydrous ammonia. The EPA says that Oregon Potato failed to immediately notify local and state agencies about the release. No injuries reported at the time of the incident but ammonia is said to be a pungent, toxic gas that attacks the eyes, skin, throat, and lungs that can cause serious injury and even death.
(Source: Environmental Resource Center – ercweb.com)
A large fire is burning the Washington Potato Company facility, located in the 1900 block of West 1st Street in Grant County, Washington. It ignited from an unknown cause on Thursday, January 21, 2021.
The Sheriff’s Office says the fire started inside the processing plant’s dehydrator around 1730 hours PT.
LEVEL 3 EVACUATION NOTICE issued to all areas west of Road U-SE and south of SR170, Warden in an 1.5 mile evacuation distance. Issued 1/21/2021 2030 hours PT due to “risk of 5500-lb ammonia tank explosion”.
Officers/Troopers/Deputies from the Warden PD/WSP/Grant County Sheriffs Office are manning road blocks and only emergency vehicles will be allowed in.
Emergency Operations Center has been activated. They are working with the Red Cross to set-up a shelter.
Firefighters have pulled back and are in a safety zone, while others are staging about one-mile in the Incident Command Post located off of 17 and SR170.
Resources include Grant County Fire Districts 5 and 13, Electric City, Royal City, Ephrata, Moses Lake and other mutual aid assets.
The Grant County Sheriff’s Office has launched a drone to get an overall aerial shot of the fire building and to get a size up. (2301 PT)
Incident Timer has been stopped at 260 minutes at 2306 hours PT. Command states no longer needs as they are watching everything closely and in real-time.
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.
On Friday night, January 8th, a fire broke out on the first floor of a nail salon in a 3-story commercial (mixed-use) structure then spread to other businesses. What would start out as a 1st Alarm response, would quickly escalate to a 7th Alarm.
Firefighters brought the fire under control at 0851 EST on Saturday for the incident that was listed as Box 4464. 136-15 37th Avenue, on Main Street x 37th Avenue in the Flushing area in Queens, New York
Firefighters spent the morning on Saturday, January 9th with their continuous firefight from in frigid temps overnight with challenges they had in getting water on the fire due to difficult access.
Seven firefighters suffered minor injuries and three businesses were gutted.
The Queens Borough President Donovan Richards states his office stands ready to provide assistance to these businesses.
Significant events that played out during this incident:
7th Alarm (0519)
6th Alarm (0643)
5th Alarm (0221)
4th Alarm (0122)
3rd Alarm (0022)
2nd Alarm (0011)
1st Alarm (2357)
QUEENS FIRE HISTORY | For fires or incidents greater than 2nd alarms.
Queens has been known for its escalated fire alarms as many of the structures are attached to one another, called row houses that are made of old wood and several do not have smoke alarms.
In this day in age, it would not be surprising to know that many businesses also have not upgraded to sprinklers.
FDNY firefighters and their agency overall have been working tirelessly to educate and help provide the necessary tools to help their communities to become fire smart.
Here are some of the fires from over the years and even our most recent history in the last five years.
Large fire during Hurricane Sandy shows the large fire footprint left behind after the gigantic inferno in the Breezy Point area. 50 homes were destroyed.
11 injured with four in critical condition. Early morning house fire.
Large multi-alarm brush fire. So big and robust, it is picked up on a local news radar of just how gigantic it is from its smoke plume.
Home under construction catches on fire and taking two homes with it.
Big fire breaks out on Queens Blvd and 34-38th Streets. 3rd alarm. Commercial structure fire.
More than 160 firefighters responded, fought a huge blaze at a restaurant and injuring five people.
Five were killed including three children in a residential (dwelling) fire. Media reports there was no smoke alarm.
A landlord dies in a residential home fire.
Scrap yard fire. 5th Alarm. 187-10 Jamaica Avenue. Yard backs up to the Long Island Railroad. All LIRR trains were stopped during the incident.
Three are killed in a house fire.
Nine FDNY firefighters are hurt along with two civilians.
Bellerose Manor section. One person died. 7 firefighters were injured with conditions of minor to serious. Fire broke out around 1900 hours EST.
3rd alarm. House fire
4th alarm. Auto body shop.
5-alarm. 1-story commercial building on Queens Blvd. heavy fire and smoke conditions. Backdraft and explosion occurred. Minor injuries (firefighters).
Transformer explosion at Con Edison plant. LaGuardia Airport goes on lockdown and on emergency power. Many inbound flights holding and diverting. Passengers were held on aircraft at gates. Ground stop in effect. Turned the sky neon blue.
3rd alarm. House fire. 3-alarm. Structure fire. Box 4630. 94-02 42nd Avenue. Heavy fire on floors 1 and 2 of a 3-story private dwelling.
House fire. Child killed. Six others injured.
3-alarms. 93-13 101st Avenue. 2-story commercial structure with mixed occupancy. Fire in two buildings. Ozone Park.
An entire family perishes inside their home. Residential structure fire.
4 alarm. 78-17 101st Avenue. Fire throughout the whole building with extension to exposures 2 A, a 2-story wood dwelling. Ozone Park in Queens.
4 Alarm commercial structure fire.
3-alarm. Box 9361. 97-12 Northern Blvd. Fire in 3-story mixed use building with extension to exposures.
Multiple calls come in for a lightning strike of a home.
3-alarm. 22-11 New Haven. Heavy fire on 5th floor extending to 6th floor. 7-floor multiple dwelling.
6-alarm fire in Queens. Box 66-9633, 109-25 Jamaica Avenue. Firefighters on-scene within three minutes but challenges arose as the fire quickly spread in old row wood frame buildings causing 40 people to be displaced. No injuries were reported.
Information has been gleaned from verified FD sources, media and eyewitness accounts. Dates are approximate as published on digital platforms. – Ed.
“Working alarms are the most critical component of your escape plan. Be #FDNYSmart – have both a smoke and CO alarm, or a combination smoke/CO alarm, where you sleep and on every level of your home, including basements. See more at http://fdnysmart.org” – FDNY
The FDNY says that 1/3 of home fires occur usually during the months of December through February and most are preventable
Here are some tips in order to become #FDNYSmart:
Most candle fire victims are between ages 5-9. Keep them out of their reach.
Keep hallways and exits clear of clutter. This will allow an easier escape during a fire, and will give first responders access to your home during an emergency.
Keep space heaters at least 3 ft. from bedding, curtains, and other materials, and always plug your heater directly into the wall.
The LAFD is battling a large commercial structure fire when they were dispatched on Friday morning around 1132 PT to the 9000 block of West Pico Boulevard in the Pico-Robertson area.
The structure is a 50×100 commercial building was taking on heavy smoke when first due units arrived on-scene.
Photo Credit | LAFD PIO/Capt Wereter @WeireterC
This is a Greater Alarm status fire.
Fire burning mostly in the middle to rear of the building.
Master streams now in place with additional firefighters staffing large-diameter handlines both from the ground and from exposure building’s roof. Partial roof collapse on the fire building has occurred.
No further needs at this time. No injuries reported.
Heavy fire and difficult to reach the seat of the fire. Now, in defensive operations. All firefighters were pulled from the roof and exiting the building.
Master streams and large-diameter hand lines are being repositioned.
Reported commercial structure fire. 50 x 100 foot building. Heavy smoke showing. 2 additional Task Forces requested. Escalated to a Greater Alarm fire.
Firefighters are working to find the seat of the fire, ewhile others are working to breach entry on the exterior.
Everett, Washington State | Firefighters were dispatched around 1750 hours to a large residential structure under construction in the 1700 block of West Marine Drive in Snohomish County, where first due crews reported a well-estabished fire was observed.
This took place on Thursday evening, July 16, 2020.
There were 53 fire apparatus on scene and approximately 73 fire personnel on scene from the Everett Fire Department and mutual aid agencies. pic.twitter.com/GfCKTOkXe7
The Fire Department then changed it to the 1300 block of West Marine Drive.
This is listed to the Waterfront Place Apartments, which are under construction. Fire units went into an immediate defensive strategy.
A PIO was immediately dispatched to respond to the fire ground.
=============== About Structure ===============
Photo Credit | Everett FD
Per Apartments.com, these apartments were scheduled to come online in 2021 with 266 units and a total of four-stories. These buildings 1300 and 1400 blocks of Marine View Drive in Everett, WA 98201. These were scheduled to be studio to three bedroom units. They are located in the norwestern portion of the City.
The structure fire was so intense that it was now wind-driven and spotting. The wind had picked up some hot burning embers blowing them across West Marine Drive to the east towards Grand Avenue Bluff.
This caused a brush fire and caused minor damage to a home down the street. Firefighters were able to save the home.
Additionally, the fire was escalated to a 4-alarm over time throughout the incident prompting the deployment of all available Snohomish County units as mutual aid to respond.
Fire officials say it is too early to determine the cause but it is under investigation.
After the fire was brought under control, it was assessed as two 4-story units under construction burned and one burned to the ground. It’s intensity scorched and blew out the windows of a ladder truck and damaged a nearby parked aid unit.
One firefighter suffered minor burns as he was trying to move the aid unit to a more safer distance away. Both of the rigs have burns and melted components.
A total of 73 fire personnel along with 53 pieces of apparatus were assigned to this incident along with mutual aid from all over Snohomish, North and South King Counties.
Personnel represented the Everett FD, City of Everett, Renton RFA, Renton Firefighters, Tukwila Fire Department, Puget Sound Fire and King County Medic One (Paramedics).
Several Task Forces such as Bothell Fire, Woodinville Fire and Shoreline Fire helped staff Everett Fire Stations.
A Zone 3 Urban Task Force from the Seattle Fire Department arrived within the City limits as mutual aid and responding to 9-1-1 calls for service.
Most of the units have returned back into service (2145PT). Some units will remain on-scene for fire watch and addressing leftover spot fires.
Fire Images of the 4-Alarm Everett structure fire this evening:
A single story commercial auto body building was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived to the address of 500 block on Dixie Highway in Hollywood, Florida. Firefighters arrived around 2230 hours EDT on Sunday, August 6, 2017.
Alleged Eyewitness Accounts
Social Media posters indicated some witnesses reported several explosions but no confirmed Pressers have been released by Fire or Law Enforcement officials.
A 2nd alarm was called as several multiple exposures were being threatened, weather conditions and it being said the fire was being fueled by winds.
Firefighters battled the fully engulfed auto body shop and addressed the exposure buildings. Several cars were on fire inside the shop with one of them being very difficult to suppress and contain, as it may have been fed by possibly propane.
Reports of the fire knocked down, out, rekindling and then out were called in to Command several times. Finally, the fire appeared to be knocked down at 00:40 EDT but hot spots remained on the Charlie side.
Firefighters were pulled away from the Charlie side around 2353 hours EDT as the side became recognizable some of the building had collapsed.
A broadcast of all personnel to step away from the building was announced over the radio several times.
Personnel Accountability Report (PAR)
A PAR was being given by fire units as to their unit designations and locations. Just as they were updating Command, heavy black smoke and flames began pouring out of the Charlie division. They were all also in the middle of swapping out air bottles.
At the same time, they were in the midst of getting their aerial operations back up and running, additional resources were requested to redeploy to this side of the building. As they were moving fire assets into position, Dispatch was still trying to find out if a PAR had been reached for each Division.
Fire Knocked Down, Out
As fire conditions were being reported to Command, the IC was reviewing with Safety what units needed to stay on-scene and which ones could be released. Right at the time, heavy smoke and flames started rekindling yet again up the sides of Divisions Alpha and Charlie. The fire was having none of that.
Firefighters went interior and reported all clear, fire was now knocked down.(00:21 EDT)
Flames began to appear from the Alpha / Bravo side in the corner rear on the roof (00:22) then an exposure building on the same side flames were visible (00:23).
Water resources were repositioned to attempt to hit this stubborn fire. (00:23).
Flames yet again have reappeared on the Bravo side of the fire building. Firefighters’ tireless efforts were not going unnoticed but the fire has remained defiant throughout this late night into early wee hours of Monday, August 6, 2017.
The fire incident clock has reached 140 minutes and another PAR is being called out to Command and then to Dispatch. (00:43).
Fuels on Site
Firefighters were first told there was no gas on site but later the gas company would roll up in one of their own trucks saying there is a gas meter on the Delta side (North side).
The gas company confirmed there was an active gas feed directly to the structure but sounded like it was being secured. (00:32)
An emergency button on a portable radio, was deemed to be an accidental activation.
Command warned all Firefighters and crews on the fire ground that power was being turned on to a nearby street and should not affect the fire ground. He wanted to make sure all personnel were aware and to be very careful.
One firefighter was reportedly injured and being transported by one of their own Rescue units. It is unknown what his injuries are or his condition. – We hope it is nothing serious and he has a speedy recovery. – Ed.
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Los Angeles, CA | A fire broke out in Lincoln Heights, one of the City’s oldest and low-income neighborhoods in a commercial manufacturing site around 2000 hours this evening.
Firefighters originally responded to a fire with unknown substances inside plastic barrels located on the exterior wall of the commercial building in the 1800 Block of Hancock Street. Later it was discovered this business is the ASAP Auto Wrecking Yard, a scrap salvage yard approximately 200 x 200 which a fairly large size.
Fire was seen blasting out of the area with large columns of smoke in the air reported by many across Twitter using the hashtag #lincolnheights. Pretty amazing footage and photos out there as well.
Fire crews had the fire knocked down around 2110 Hours say LAFD. There were currently no injuries reported and no evacuations in progress.
The LAFD states it took 97 Firefighters 54 minutes to knock down the fire. No injuries or structure damage occurred.
Bulk of the flames was in the auto dismantling yard with possible storage / water reactive scrap. A possible additional unknown type of commercial building may have been sizeably impacted by the fire. The storage of 55-gallon plastic barrels contained pickles / brine. The burning barrels added to the thick smoke in the area.
Cause is under investigation.
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