Fire Destroys Fruit Warehouse in Wapato - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Fire Destroys Fruit Warehouse in Wapato

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WAPATO, Wa -  A fire in Wapato destroys a fruit warehouse.  Firefighters estimate damages to be into the millions.

The fire happened at a warehouse owned by Yakima Fruit and Cold Storage on 200 North Frontage Road. 

Firefighters received a call from an employee just before seven this morning.  Within in minutes the entire warehouse was on fire.  The roof collapsed after about 20-minutes.  Smoke could be seen for miles. State patrol had to close down three lanes on highway 97 from 7-30 to 10-30 this morning.

Firefighters say fruit warehouses like this can be a big fire hazard because they use ammonia to keep them cool. 

"Obviously, talking large structures, talking about a lot of heat. You know we had a lot of ammonia issues earlier that got isolated," says Kevin Frazier, Deputy Fire Chief of Yakima Fire District #5.

Frazier says Yakima Fruit and Cold Storage was able to shut off the lines running ammonia into that warehouse which helped to minimize the fire.

The company declined to speak to the media today.