KENNEWICK, Wash. — Firefighters from Kennewick had to cut various parts of an abandoned building to access a fire that sent heavy, black smoke into the sky on the east side of the city.
According to Chief Chad Michael of the Kennewick Fire Department, crews from his Department were dispatched to 408 S Gum St around 11:09 a.m. on Monday, October 10 for reports of a residential fire. Emergency dispatchers confirmed to firefighters that it was an abandoned building.
While their mutual aid agreement warranted a response from the Pasco Fire Department and Benton County Fire District No. 1, Kennewick crews quickly realized they could handle it on their own and canceled the call for help.
Within four minutes of being called, Kennewick firefighters arrived at the structure and observed heavy grey and black smoke coming from the back of the building. They also spotted flames from one of the windows on the side of the building.
Accessing the home was difficult since it was boarded up, but Kennewick Fire crews managed to cut through the wood panels and gain access to the interior so they could attack the fire head-on.
When they confirmed that no one was in or near the house, firefighters began to use their hoses to douse the flames with water from the windows. They also established another entry point by cutting a part of the structure open near the attic.
14 minutes later, the fire was completely under control and the clean-up efforts were underway. They began to search for a cause, which remains unclear. None of the Kennewick firefighters were injured as a result of this response effort.
“Abandoned structures can be extremely treacherous to firefighters as they frequently lack structural integrity and may contain other hazards,” Chief Michael stated. “Community members should contact police if individuals are noted to be occupying or spending time in abandoned buildings.”
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