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Residents near burning Tri-Cities cold storage warehouse evacuated as wind spreads embers

Vaseline 3 months ago

People in one part of Finley were told to leave their homes and businesses immediately Sunday afternoon as black smoke billowed downwind from a fire at Lineage Logistics.

The embers spread and started fires in pallets and natural vegetation nearby, Jenna Kochenauer, spokesperson for Benton Fire District 1, said in a video on social media shortly before 2 p.m.

The fire started around 5:15 a.m. Sunday in a freezer at Lineage Logistics’ cold storage facility at 224905 E. Bowles Road, Kennewick, Kochenauer said. Sprinklers went off in the building, she said.

By 1 p.m., the fire had spread into the roof, Kochenaur said.

As the winds picked up Sunday afternoon, firefighters switched from working to extinguish the fire to working to prevent it from spreading.

The evacuation area was south of East Bowles Road, between roughly Piert Road near the Columbia River west to near Finley Road.

The evacuation area in Finley is outlined in red.The evacuation area in Finley is outlined in red.

The evacuation area in Finley is outlined in red.

Benton County Fire District 1 crews initially battled the blaze, and crews from other Benton County counties, plus Franklin County and Walla Walla County counties, and firefighters from Richland, Pasco and Kennewick assisted Sunday afternoon.

By mid-afternoon, billows of black smoke from the cold storage facility could be seen from miles away. The smoke was visible north near Connell and south across the Oregon state line.

The plume from a fire at a Finley freezer warehouse is visible from a backyard several miles away.The plume from a fire at a Finley freezer warehouse is visible from a backyard several miles away.

The plume from a fire at a Finley freezer warehouse is visible from a backyard several miles away.

Benton County Fire District 1 crews began extinguishing a fire at a frozen warehouse in Finley around 5 a.m. Sunday.Benton County Fire District 1 crews began extinguishing a fire at a frozen warehouse in Finley around 5 a.m. Sunday.

Benton County Fire District 1 crews began extinguishing a fire at a frozen warehouse in Finley around 5 a.m. Sunday.