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Jan-27-2010 17:31printcommentsVideo

Fire Rages at Old Fairview Training Center in Salem

This fire will destroy one of the facility's expansive multi level wooden buildings that have sat essentially abandoned but guarded over the last several years.


Fire in Salem by Jerry Freeman

(SALEM, Ore.) - Firefighters are on the scene of a major 3-alarm commercial fire in a Salem commercial building on Strong Road. The fire at the Fairview Training Center has consumed a multi level wood building that was built in the early 1900's.

The fire's plume of dark smoke was visible miles from the location in South Salem.

The Fairview Training Center was built just after the turn of the century and has been closed in recent decades since federal funding for mental health programs went away.

This fire will destroy one of the facility's expansive multi level wooden buildings that have sat essentially abandoned but guarded over the last several years.

KGW News reports from their helicopter that the fire is "Unbelievable" and they said nearby roads closed down, with more than a dozen fire trucks directing water on the fire, which was reported initially by the Salem Airport tower.

At this point the fire is burning, our news photographer Jerry Freeman is on the scene and has video of the flaming building falling apart, fully engulfed in flames.

We originally reported that the fire was at a school, and it appears that information is not correct. By all reports at this point, the building was totally abandoned, but structurally sound.

Salem Fire confirmed that the nature of the fire is suspicious.

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Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com

Jerry Freeman is part of a new generation of dedicated news photographers who are entering the Internet news industry as a second career. He shares in common with many people the dream of becoming a visual journalist. Joining the Navy at an early age, and the Oregon Army Guard a few years later, Jerry has a wide range of life experiences. He describes himself as “an old truck driver with a new found passion to bare witness on the world’s events.” Teaming up with Salem-News.com he embarks on a new career as a video news photographer and reporter. Stay tuned, and see how it turns out. Jerry seems to exhibit natural talent and is already becoming a published member of the Salem-News.com team. You can send Jerry Freeman an email at this address: Salem-News@gravityshadow.com




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Chris Gordon February 5, 2010 5:38 pm (Pacific time)

Hey Tim,

Thanks for your response. In retrospect "glaring" seems too confrontational, so my apologies. I just wanted to highlight the fact that Fairview was closed because it was a terrible place. People were treated like prisoners, patients, inmates, animals, worse than animals, and not as people, as the unique individuals they are, as all of us are. And just so everyone knows, Oregon is currently one of the most progressive states in the country in terms of its supports and services for adults with additional needs.

Tim King: Chris, thank you, I really appreciate that and there is no doubt we have the same goals.  We could never do enough for the citizens in question and I am familiar with many of the points you referenced about the history of Fairview.    Thank you for what you added and if you ever have any articles on this subject and you're looking for a place to get them in front of people, I'd say you have found it, and you can always write to me at tim@salem-news.com, thanks again.


Chris Gordon February 5, 2010 3:33 pm (Pacific time)

Just wanted to point out a glaring error in your article. Fairview Training Center was not closed because "federal funding for mental health programs went away." Fairview was closed in part because the ARC of Oregon filed a lawsuit with the Department of Justice based on civil rights abuses, and in part because of an extensive investigation by the Health Care Finance Administration. There was also a national effort at that time to provide supports for adults with developmental disabilities in community settings rather than in large institutions. Also, please note that funding for "Mental Health Programs" and "Developmental Disabilities Services" have been and continue to be separate. For a detailed history of Fairview Training Center see the following:

http://www.institutionwatch.ca/cms-filesystem-action?file=research/fairview_report.pdf

Tim King: Chris, I appreciate the input, but you and I both know that Reagan balanced the budget of America off the backs of the mentally ill by moving funding that had been dedicated to them,.  Therefore I do not consider this to be a 'glaring error' at all, it is more a matter of how you look at it.  I produced a series of stories in 1988 about the use of apartment buildings for developmentally disabled and the story was about an abusive program coordinator that the Lincoln County Health Dept. put in charge of their physical training programs; I am familiar with that time period... it is equally sad.  For your information, I was the reporter with KATU in Portland who told the story of David Beem running for Salem City Council.  I have never turned my back on this subject, thanks for your comment..  


jana February 1, 2010 11:12 pm (Pacific time)

what happened to the other report with the "Mad world" song? That was so informative.

Here's the link to Bonnie King's report: http://salem-news.com/articles/february012010/fairview_madworld_bjk.php


Mike H. January 28, 2010 2:55 am (Pacific time)

I saw it from the top of Bluff hill when I was leaving for work. I knew it had to be a fire, from all of the smoke I could see. It burned for at least an hour and a half...I wonder if that was the cop that damn near forced me off the road trying to get by me...

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