Philomath Fire & Rescue responded to two significant fires over a six-day period last week.
On Nov. 26, firefighters responded to a call that came in at 5:11 p.m. of a fire in the 24000 block of Brumfield Lane, which is located off Highway 20 west of Philomath. The fire department arrived to find a 300-square-foot detached shop on a commercial property with an upstairs loft engulfed in flames.
Philomath Fire & Rescue chief Tom Miller said the property owner had been attempting to extinguish the blaze with a garden hose.
The fire department called for a second alarm. Philomath Fire & Rescue had three structure engines, one water tender and 10 personnel at the scene. Corvallis sent a structure engine and three personnel. Blodgett and Monroe sent a water tender. Alsea and Kings Valley firefighters also assisted.
Miller said the source of the fire was determined to be a space heater. No people or animals were injured. Firefighters remained on scene until about 7:30 p.m.
Miller said the structure was a total loss, estimated at about $600,000, which included belongings such as tools and antique records.
The fire chief encouraged anyone who uses a space heater to ensure it’s in proper condition and used in a well-ventilated area. He also said a space heater should never be left unattended.
Philomath Fire & Rescue was one of several agencies sending personnel and equipment to a three-alarm fire Thursday at Oregon Powder Coating in Tangent.
The initial call on that incident came in around 4:14 p.m. as an oven fire. When Tangent crews first arrived, employees were trying to extinguish the flames. They were soon evacuated, evaluated by medics and released. Neighboring businesses were evacuated as well, said Albany Fire Department Public Information Officer Sandy Roberts. A third alarm was called an hour later, summoning aid from neighboring districts.
More than 50 personnel from Corvallis, Halsey-Shedd, Lebanon, Philomath, Jefferson and Tangent were at the scene while the fire was active, Roberts said. Linn-Benton Regional Hazardous Materials Team Five was also on hand because of the chemicals involved with the business. As a result, firefighters could not initially use water to douse flames.
Philomath Fire & Rescue sent two structure engines and one water tender, along with eight personnel, to help battle the blaze. The building was a total loss and the cause was not immediately determined.