KENNEWICK, WA - Fire crews are still at the scene of a fire that started burning last night at the Baker Produce in Kennewick. Right now they're working on putting out hot spots inside the building.
Firefighters say these type of fires are some of the most dangerous to fight.
"It was very hot, very dark black active smoke," says Captain Eric Nilson, Kennewick Fire Department. "Visibility was non-existent for the firefighters, which made it almost impossible for us to locate the fire and extinguish it quickly so the fire grew."
Firefighters say in these types of fires, there's a lot that could go wrong.
"The heat and the water load can begin to cause the building and the machinery within the building to fail causing it to collapse and fall in," says Nilson.
That possibility caused firefighters to take on a defensive approach to fighting the fire, which meant taking all the firefighters out of the building and having them fight the fire from the outside.
"That makes fighting the fire much more difficult which tends to result in higher damage because we can't get to some of the areas that are burning," says Nilson.
The property owners tell firefighters the building is worth $4 million including all the product and equipment inside the building.
Luckily firefighters were able to save a lot of the equipment on the inside.
Baker Produce is about 12,000 square feet. Firefighters say the building is still dangerous and hasn't been secured, they are asking everyone to stay away. There will be security on the premises to ensure no one goes inside the building.
WorkSource Columbia Basin, an employment center in Kennewick, wants any employees from Baker Produce affected by this fire to know they have re-employment resources available.
The Rapid Response coordinator helps employers and impacted workers find employment as quickly as possible. All resources are free.
For more information about this resource contact Jamilet Nerell at 509-734-5917 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WorkSource Columbia Basin is located at 815 N. Kellog St. Suite D. Kennewick, WA 99336.