Warden Potato Fire Knocked Down

WARDEN, WASHINGTON

Update 4 | 1/22/2021 0710 PT

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.

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Credit: Moses Lake Firefighters

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)

(c) 2021 NW Fire Blog

Warden Fire Prompts Level 3 Evacuations

WARDEN, WASHINGTON

Update 3 | 1/21/2021 2306 PT

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”.

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Credit: Moses Lake Firefighters

Officers/Troopers/Deputies from the Warden PD/WSP/Grant County Sheriffs Office are manning road blocks and only emergency vehicles will be allowed in.

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Credit: WSP Trooper John Bryant

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.

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Credit: GCFD13

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.

(c) 2021 NW Fire Blog

Warden Fire Prompts Level 3 Evacuations

WARDEN, WASHINGTON

Update 2

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”.

–> LEVEL 1 NOW UPGRADED UP TO LEVEL 3 EVACUATIONS <–

–> Issued for West County Road U, to South of 170 <—

–> LEAVE AREA NOW! <–

Due to several explosions on the interior of the commercial building and unknown damage, firefighters have pulled out and are currently trying to remove all equipment from the area.

Staging has been moved back to one-mile from the scene on SR 170 and 17.

More units are still incoming.

A PAR was completed and all members are accounted for.

An ALS unit was dispatched to the scene. It is unknown if there are any injuries.

Warden PD and County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to clear out all of the spectators who gathered to watch the show.

A 5500-gallon tank of ammonia was inside the building and feared would explode. Several occurred but it was unknown which tanks were being impacted.

Resources from Electric City, Warden, Ephrata, Ritzville and Grant County multiple Fire Districts were either on-scene and/or en route.

The last fire unit was backing out of the scene.

(c) 2021 NW Fire Blog – Updated 1/21/2021 2059 PT

State Iconic Potato Farm Up in Flames

WARDEN, WASHINGTON

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

Update 3 | 3-Alarm Fire in Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Florida

Firefighters were dispatched to a structure fire in the area of North Main Street and West Union Street for a commercial structure fire on January 9, 2021 evening. The building is located near a 7-11 and Shell station.

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Credit: JFRDJAX

Firefighters arrived just after 1736 hours PT and reporting a 2-story commercial building with fire from floor two. The building’s integrity was reported as unstable and collapsed shortly after arriving. Media reports which was retweeted by the City of Jacksonville (FL) states this was once a funeral home and vacant.

Over 100 firefighters would fight the stubborn blaze and was brought under control over one hour on the incident clock.

Significant events included: firefighters having to cool a propane tank at the nearby 7-11 store and working to set-up a collapse zone to keep all resources and firefighters safe.

Here are some footage of this evening’s fire:

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No reports of injuries to citizens or firefighters were reported.

Firefighters will remain overnight for fire watch after putting out hot spots and overhaul operations.

Cause is unknown at the time of this post.

(c) 2021 NW Fire Blog – Update 3 – 1/9/2021 1940 PT

Unit Responds to Mt Baldi for Fire

MT BALDI, CALIFORNIA

A Brush truck (Brush Truck 200) along with additional resources were dispatched at 1830 hours PT to the the Mt. Baldi Ski Lift for a reported 9-1-1 call regarding a camp fire in the south parking lot.

This is an active incident and units are still en route.

(c) 2021 NW Fire Blog – 1/9/2021 1833 PT

Update 2 | 3-Alarm Fire in Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Florida

Firefighters were dispatched to a structure fire in the area of North Main Street and West Union Street , to a commercial structure fire on January 9, 2021 evening. The building is located near a 7-11 and Shell station.

Firefighters arrived just after 1736 hours PT and reporting a 2-story commercial building with fire from floor two. The building’s integrity was reported as unstable and collapsed shortly after arriving. Media reports which was retweeted by the City of Jacksonville (FL) states this was once a funeral home and vacant.

Over 100 firefighters would fight the stubborn blaze and was brought under control over one hour on the incident clock.

Significant events included: firefighters having to cool a propane tank at the nearby 7-11 store and working to set-up a collapse zone to keep all resources and firefighters safe.

No reports of injuries to citizens or firefighters were reported.

Firefighters will remain overnight for fire watch after putting out hot spots and overhaul operations.

Cause is unknown at the time of this post.

(c) 2021 NW Fire Blog – Updated 1/9/2021 – 1630 PT / 1930 ET | Update 2 1702 PT – 2002 ET

Breaking | 3-Alarm Fire in Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Florida

Firefighters were dispatched to a structure fire in the downtown area this evening.

Around 1736 hours ET, Firefighters with Ladder 4 arrived on-scene to a structure fire and reporting a 2-story commercial building with visible fire from the second floor. Additionally, it was reported to dispatch that the building integrity was unstable.

All units responding were considered 1st alarm resources.

Less than ten minutes later, the incident was escalated to a 2nd alarm.

Jacksonville’s City Mayor Lenny Curry states this is a vacant building with no reports of injuries to civilians or firefighters. He is asking for prayers for his firefighters.

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The incident is located in the area of North Main Street and West Union Street in the downtown Jacksonville area.

AVOID THE AREA!

At 1908 hours ET, Fire Command escalated the incident to a 3rd alarm. This will bring in more resources and equipment.

This is a developing story and more updates will be provided.

Note: There are no scanner feeds in the area, so we are updating information via the City of Jacksonville Mayor, Fire and Police Departments, as well as from other verified sources.

ABOUT JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA

There are 65 Fire Departments in the City, plus two Military FDs (Naval Air Station Mayport FD and USAF 125th Fighter Wing FD). Additionally, there is a Jacksonville Training Division in a separate location.

Three Ambulance services include Ambulance Service Inc., Century Ambulance and Liberty Ambulance Service.

(c) 2021 NW Fire Blog – Updated 1/9/2021 – 1630 PT / 1930 ET

Issaquah Police Close Local Roadway

Issaquah Police are on the scene of a one-car rollover on Fall City Road between East Lake Sammamish and Black Nugget Road.

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Credit | Issaquah PD

Police are asking drivers to take an alternate route as these roadways are currently closed to all traffic.

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Credit | EF&R

Eastside Fire & Rescue is currently on-scene of this accident.

This is a developing story.

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog- Updated 12/13/2020 0010 PT

Pre-Turkey Day Fire Erupts

SEATTLE, Wash. | Firefighters and equipment were dispatched to a residential structure fire located in the 10000 block of Sand Point Way NE at 2021 hours on Wednesday, November 25, 2020.

FIRE BUILDING

The fire building is a 3 bedroom and 1.75 bath home with 1,600 square feet with a basement, main floor and attic. It was built in 1939, with a finished basement and underground parking garage. The lot size is over 7,000 square feet.

RESOURCES

Units dispatched were Seattle Fire’s Aid 25, Air Unit 10, Battalions 2 and 6, Deputy 1, Engines 16, 24, 31, 38, 40, Ladders 5 and 10. Medics 17 and 44 (Supervisor), Marshal 5 (FIU Investigator), REHAB 1 (Fire/Medical Rehab), Safety 2 and Staff 10.

Stock Photo
(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – Stock Photo

FIRE OPS

Water Supply – Established with E39 taking a secondary hydrant.

Search and Rescue – Ladder 5 did a split search from floors one to two completing their task quickly, with nothing found. Primary and secondary searches were completed of the whole structure.

Command – Battalion 6 assumed command at 2033 hours.

Per scanner traffic, visible flames were reported to be out the basement windows when first due units arrived. Crews did not find any extension to the attic or to the knee walls. The fire was knocked down less than 15 minutes.

Ventilation operations with fans was tasked to Ladder 9.

Units were starting to be released by Command within 20 minutes from the original dispatched call time.

CAUSE

At the time of this post, the cause and preliminary damage to the the property and contents were unknown.

The Seattle Fire Investigator, Marshal 5 was on-scene.

INJURIES

No reports of injuries to firefighters or citizens was reported by the Seattle Fire Department.

UPDATE

An update will be posted when information has been received.

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – Updated 11/25/2020 2120 PT