Birds nesting near vent blamed for NSL fire - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Birds nesting near vent blamed for NSL fire

Posted: Updated:

YAKIMA, Wash. -- About 30 people had to be evacuated Monday morning at North Star Lodge after fire broke out in the building.

Yakima firefighters responded to the fire on the 800 block of N. 39th Avenue at around 10:30 a.m. The fire was out by 1:35 p.m.

Crews kept the fire from reaching the attic area which would've resulted in extensive damage, according to firefighters.

"If that initial crew hadn't gotten water on that fire when they did, we would have been there for hours mopping up," said Battalion chief Mitch Cole in a written statement.

Firefighters estimate the damage at $17,500. None of the contents, with a total value of $25 million, was damaged in the fire.

No one was injured.

North Star Lodge Marketing and development specialist, Julie Toney, tells KNDO, all of the patients were evacuated and received treatment at Children's Village.

Patients scheduled for treatment throughout the week have been informed about the limited scheduling. A spokesperson says NSL hopes to resume full services by Wednesday.

Firefighters say the cause of fire was from birds nesting near a gas fireplace vent. The birds broke through a screen already in place to
prevent them from getting inside. More birds were found at another gas fireplace in the building.

Deputy Fire Marshal Joe Caruso ordered all gas venting appliances in the building be shut down, until a thorough inspection is completed and alternate screening are put into place.

25 firefighters were one scene, including those from East Valley, Union Gap and the Yakima Training Center Fire departments.