Fire damages large shop building near Ridgefield

Firefighters have trouble finding site

By John Branton and Paul Suarez

Published:

Updated: February 6, 2012, 8:18 PM

 

A fire in a large shop near Ridgefield caused $116,000 in damage Monday morning.

No one was inside at the time of the fire.

A neighbor reported the fire around 9:45 a.m. in a building at 20321 N.W. 41st Ave.

Crews used six engines, three tenders and 2,000 feet of hose. After about an hour, the fire was under control.

The response was slightly delayed as firefighters navigated multiple driveways to find the one that led to the structure, said Mike Ciraulo, division chief of training for Clark County Fire & Rescue. One engine got stuck attempting to turn around after going down the wrong driveway. Firefighters from that engine were able to walk through a field to the fire to assist.

Clark County Fire & Rescue was the lead agency, assisted by Clark County Fire District 6 and a water tender from Woodland.

The nearest hydrant wasn’t close enough to use, so firefighters had to lay about 2,000 feet of hose and use water tenders to battle the blaze, Ciraulo said. Tenders couldn’t get closer to the shop because it would be next to impossible for them to turn around, he said.

The metal-clad pole barn had visible signs of heat damage, including charred and warped paneling. Inside cars, car parts and tools were damaged. Firefighters were having trouble accessing the fire at first because the heat and smoke from the building was exiting through the shop’s only door — a roll-up garage door that firefighters were trying to use. Firefighters used power tools to create another opening in the rear of the building for ventilation and used fans to control the heat and smoke, Ciraulo said.

County property records indicate the property is owned by Kevin Meyer.

The stuck engine was pulled out by a tow truck after the fire was contained.

The trouble finding the barn shows the importance of having address signs for first responders to use, Ciraulo said.

“Good address signs can make the difference,” by saving seconds during medical and fire calls, he added.

A deputy fire marshal said the fire is believed accidental. The cause will officially remain as undetermined. Damage is estimated to be $80,000 to the building and $36,000 to its contents.

Clark County Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Tim Dawdy said the fire district will build signs for residents. To request one, call 360-887-4609 between 8 and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.