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Fire burns in building of defunct paper mill in Steilacoom

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on May 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
May 27, 2011 3:26 pm
Courtesy of KIRO TV

A fire broke out Thursday night in one of the remaining buildings at the old Abitibi-Consolidated paper mill in Steilacoom.

Crews are now letting the flames burn out.

“We are letting it take its course,” said Ron Schaub, chief of Steilacoom’s Public Safety Department.

The old paper mill is being torn down. A bystander noticed smoke coming from the property Thursday night and called 911, Schaub said.

Crews arrived to find flames in the rafters of a building along the back of the property, Schaub said. Firefighters poured 2,000 gallons of water on the flames.

The fire was knocked down but not out. Crews decided to let the fire burn. Parts of the roof have been collapsing today.

The property has no water source. The fire was not endangering the public.

“We’re just going to make sure it doesn’t spread,” Schaub said.

Crews have set up a round-the-clock fire watch and will be monitoring the fire for the next 24 to 48 hours.

“We’ll play it by ear,” Schaub said. “It’s going to be smoldering for probably a week or so.”

Schaub said the power to the property was shut off a few days ago but workers had been on site doing demolition.

The mill closed in 2000 after 80 years in operation.

 

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