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Salem Garage Fire

News Release from: Salem Fire Dept.
Posted: March 23rd, 2012 3:34 PM

At approximately 10:06 a.m. on March 23, 2012, fire crews from the Salem Fire Department were dispatched to the 800 block of Rural Avenue SE in Salem, Oregon for a report of a fire located in a detached private garage. The fire was discovered by neighbors who noticed smoke coming from the garage. Multiple 911 calls were received.

While en route, fire crews received additional information regarding visible flames with other buildings exposed to fire damage, resulting in the fire response being upgraded to a second alarm. The Salem Fire Department responded with a total of six fire engines and one ladder truck as well as command staff. Rural Metro Ambulance also responded for medical coverage.

Salem Ladder 4 arrived approximately four minutes after the initial call and found the garage fully involved with fire. Firefighters made an aggressive defensive attack, protecting adjacent structures and vehicles while suppressing the fire. Overhead power lines were impacted by the fire and dropped into the alley, necessitating support from PGE to cut electrical power to the lines.

During the incident, firefighters were informed that a significant amount of vegetable oil and methanol were stored in the garage, which added to the fuel load. City of Salem Environmental Services was contacted and arrived to the scene to assist with vegetable oil that was leaking from the garage. Due to the quantity of ignitable liquids and possibility of other chemicals involved, the Salem Fire Regional Hazardous Materials team arrived and began operations with Environmental Services.

The fire was deemed under control at approximately 11:04 am. No injuries to occupants or firefighters were reported. Fire damage estimates are unknown at this time and the cause of the fire remains under investigation. The Salem Hazmat team is currently on scene, coordinating cleanup efforts. Local streets in the area were closed during the firefighting operation. Currently, Rural Avenue is reopened to traffic. Summer Street SE will remain closed between Electric Street and Rural Avenue pending completion of initial cleanup activity.


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