Fire injures 2, evacuates 250
By Staff Sgt. Nathan Gallahan , 92nd Public Affairs
/ Published April 19, 2006
FAIRCHILD AFB, Wash. -- Two people were injured and nobody died after a civil engineering work center caught fire Monday at approximately 1:35 p.m.
A civilian contractor was taken to a downtown hospital for treatment for singed facial hair and a firefighter was taken to the on-base optometry clinic for treatment of a scratched cornea.
Firefighters from the 92nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Airway Heights, Medical Lake and Spokane District 3 and 10 fire departments joined forces to fight the blaze that caused the evacuation of approximately 300 personnel from the building and an initial estimate of $400,000 in damage.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation but reports indicate that two civilian contractors were disassembling a paint booth when the fire ignited.
“We had the fire mostly contained within 30 minutes, but it had burnt into the multiple levels of roofing material and was moving throughout the ceiling area for six hours afterwards,” Fire Chief William Nowlin, 92nd CES said. “We had to cut fire breaks into the roof to prevent the fire from spreading any further.”
After the fire was extinguished, firefighters stayed on-scene to make certain there wasn’t a flare up. At approximately 3:45 a.m. Tuesday it flared up and again, firefighters from the local community rejoined the Fairchild firefighters to contain the fire.
The area was deemed safe by appropriate authorities at approximately 7 a.m. clearing the way for investigators to determine the cause of the fire and assess damage.
“Not much good comes from things like this other than the fact that it shows our concern for public safety and our shared commitment between Fairchild and the surrounding community,” said Col. Douglas Jackson, 92nd Mission Support Group and on-scene commander. “We are ever grateful for the quick response of emergency services from our neighboring cities and hope that there is never an incident in the future that will require us to assist them. But if there ever is a call for mutual aid, we’re willing and able to assist them in any emergency situation.”