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News / Business / Clark County Business

Vancouver fire battles two-alarm blaze in grain elevator at Port of Vancouver

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Local News Editor, and
Amy Libby, Columbian Web Editor
Published: October 13, 2022, 7:28am

The Vancouver Fire Department battled a two-alarm fire Thursday morning in a grain elevator at the Port of Vancouver.

The fire was reported at 5:23 a.m. at 1905 N.W. Harborside Drive, at United Grain Corp.

Crews arrived and found a working fire in a conveyor between a grain silo on shore and a barge, operated by Shaver Transportation, in the water, according to the fire department and United Grain.

A second alarm was called, and a fire attack plan was executed with facility staff. All staff at the grain elevator were accounted for, the fire department said. There were no reported injuries.

United Grain said early Thursday afternoon that the fire was out, and the fire department was monitoring the situation.

It took more than 90 minutes to bring the fire under control, the fire department said, “due to the complexity of this incident.”

The fire was initially reported by United Grain’s longshore barge operator, who called the office to report seeing smoke on a conveyor, according to a statement from the company.

“Our staff took immediate action: sounded the evacuation alarm; hit emergency stop for all equipment; called 911, as well as port security, Shaver Transportation, the vessel’s agent and captain and our neighboring facility, Great Western Malting, to notify them of this emergency,” the statement reads.

The barge was carrying 100,000 bushels of soft white wheat from United Grain’s McNary facility at the Port of Umatilla. It was 99 percent unloaded at the time of the fire, the company said.

“Safety remains our top priority,” United Grain Corp. CEO & President Augusto Bassanini said. “We are incredibly grateful for the Vancouver Fire Department’s swift response and to our employees and longshore for their quick action to contain the fire.”

A total of 17 units were assigned to the fire, including fire boats from Vancouver and Portland Fire and Vancouver Fire’s Hazardous Materials team, according to the fire department.

Vancouver Fire units were on the scene for more than 6½ hours, working to overhaul and ensure the fire was contained.

The Vancouver Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire.