Intense Fire Destroys Large Workshop in Badger Canyon Area - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Intense Fire Destroys Large Workshop in Badger Canyon Area

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BENTON COUNTY, WA. -- A workshop fire shoots flames 20-feet in the air Wednesday in Benton County. Now firefighters are investigating what started it.

A lot of fire crews from around the region rushed to a large shop on fire around 11:30 Wednesday morning between Richland and Benton City. 

It's unclear exactly what could have started the fire that completely destroyed a big workshop near the intersection of Badger Road and Dallas Road in the Badger Caynon area.

Neighbors tell us the owners of the shop aren't around, although there are some people living in a trailer on their property. The shop though, was supposed to be empty at the time it became completely engulfed in flames. 

What you're looking at are pictures a neighbor gave us. Right after the fire started, he ran up to the barn before any fire crews got on scene and helped pull anything flammable that he could find away from the flames to help stop the spread of the fire. 

"Twenty by thirty garage just full of flames right then," Cortney Mckenna said. "And that was on the inside. You could see nothing but flames on the inside of the man door."

When firefighters arrived they immediately knew the structure was lost. It was very cold out here and with snow still on the ground, crews had trouble dealing with the intense heat of the flames, mixed with the extreme cold temperatures outside. 

"You've got hot fire conditions," Captain Jeff Ripley with Benton County Fire District 1 said. "If you can get close enough to almost stay warm. and yet at the same time you're dealing with water and frozen ground, frozen conditions, slippery conditions. Sometimes it will get so cold that even the hose will start to freeze up on us."

At least 7 agencies from around the region came to give mutual aid. At the time of our interview, Captain Ripley said it was too early to give a cause of the fire but with the cold conditions, he wouldn't be surprised if the fire was related to heating the building or a frozen pipe problem. 

Crews say they'll stay on scene here throughout the night to put out hot spots.