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Jul-09-2014 11:45printcomments

Salem Union Gospel Mission Store Damaged by Three-Alarm Fire

Fire damage to the structure is estimated at $100,000 to $200,000 and it is anticipated that the main sales area of the building will reopen within the next few days.

Salem Union Gospel Mission Fire
At approximately 3:10 a.m. Wednesday morning, fire crews from the Salem Fire Department were dispatched to the 800 block of Commercial Street NE in Salem, for a commercial structure fire at the Union Gospel Mission Store. Photo: Salem-News.com

(SALEM, Ore. ) - At approximately 3:10 a.m. Wednesday morning, fire crews from the Salem Fire Department were dispatched to the 800 block of Commercial Street NE in Salem, for a commercial structure fire.

The call was reported via 911 by a railroad train engineer who noticed flames showing on the west side of the business. Due to the location and information received, a second alarm was immediately called, adding additional Salem Fire firefighting resources to the dispatch.

Upon arrival by the first arriving fire engine approximately four minutes later, heavy fire was found and a third alarm was called, adding more fire engines to the response, including mutual aid from neighboring fire districts.

A total of nine fire engines and three ladder trucks were on scene during the fire, along with command staff, support vehicles, and medic units from Rural Metro Ambulance. Mutual aid was received from Aumsville Rural Fire Protection District, Keizer Fire District, Marion County Fire District #1, and Polk County Fire District #1, which provided support at the fire as well as subsequent coverage in the city.

Firefighters initially made a defensive, exterior attack to protect adjacent buildings and to begin extinguishing the fire. Once fire conditions were controlled, crews quickly transitioned to an interior attack, completing interior searches and extinguishing the fire.

Initially, Front Street NE, Commercial Street NE, and the Portland & Western Railroad line were closed to allow firefighting operations. All streets and the rail line are now open.

The majority of fire damage was limited to the center area of the building and did not involve the main sales area of the business. Fire damage to the structure is estimated at $100,000 to $200,000 and it is anticipated that the main sales area of the building will reopen within the next few days.

Additionally, minor fire damage was incurred at an adjacent business in the 900 block of Front Street NE, which included broken windows and charring to the exterior siding caused by the intense heat from the fire.

Fire investigation personnel from Salem Fire have begun an investigation into the origin and cause.

No injuries were reported to civilians or firefighters and the majority of fire crews were back in service within two hours.

Salem Fire units will remain on the scene throughout the day to assist with the investigation.

Source: Salem Fire Department

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