Station 201 sign

Philomath Fire & Rescue extinguished a fire that had broken out March 3 at a building materials manufacturing plant on North 15th Street.

The fire department responded at 7:33 a.m. to ShelterWorks, a business that specializes in sustainable and healthy building products, located on the back side of the large mill property.

Cpt. Rich Saalsaa, fire and life safety officer, said the fire started in a large warehouse, a structure approximately 20,000 square feet with 30-foot high metal sides with a steel frame.

"The fire was noticed by workers in the morning as they were getting started with their day," Saalsaa said. "When we arrived, there was smoke coming from the eves of the building and a large scorch mark on the outside of the building, indicating where the seat of the fire was (ground level)."

Saalsaa said the first crew used a 200-foot, 1-3/4-inch hand line to knock the fire down through an access door on the south side of the building. The fire had spread up to the mezzanine level on the south wall.

More crews arrived to help get doors open on the north side, Saalsaa said, to begin ventilation of the building. The Corvallis Fire Department arrived and pulled another hand line to extinguish the fire on the mezzanine level and also placed a crew on the roof to cut a hole above the blaze to ventilate the heat and smoke.

Along with Philomath and Corvallis, Monroe Rural Fire also assisted on the call.

"The cause of the fire is likely an electrical short in a 220-volt power line that led to a receptacle whose plug belonged to a dust collector," Saalsaa said. "There was extensive smoke damage in the building and heavy fire damage in the area of the fire on the ground floor and mezzanine floor."

Dust collector's are exactly what the name indicates, a machine used to collect fine sawdust in milling wood.

Losses to the business included tools and stored product in the area, Saalsaa said.


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