Centralia Firemen quickly put out electrical fire at 12 unit apartment building at 320 South Cherry Friday afternoon. The building was ordered evacuated until electrical concerns with the building could be checked. Photo by Mitchell Schultheis.
A Centralia City Firefighter helps suck smoke out of an apartment building at 320 South Cherry following a Friday afternoon fire. Photo by Mitchell Schultheis.
Centralia City Firemen have ordered a 12 unit apartment building at 320 South Cherry not to be occupied until an electrician can check out electrical problems.
Fire Captain John Lynch said the decision came Friday afternoon after the third electrical fire occurred in the building since September. The blaze was quickly put out, with only a small amount of damage. Lynch says the apartment building will not be allowed to be occupied again until an electrician provides certification there is no fire danger from the wiring or repairs are made.
The Friday fire began in the exhaust fan of Apartment 1 and had spread through the attic along the electrical wires to an exhaust fan in Apartment 2. No one was home in either apartment, but another resident smelled smoke and called the fire department. Firemen forced open the doors to both apartment units to reach the fire that was confined to the attic area.
Lynch says once the ceiling was opened up, flames from the fire were visible. Only a small amount of water was used to knock down the fire, limiting damage to an estimated $5,000.
There were no injuries.
The Centralia Police Department assisted the fire department in evacuating the building. The Red Cross was called to assist the occupants of the nine occupied units of the building.
One additional shift of firefighters was called to help put out the fire. The fire call came in at 3:49 Friday afternoon, with firemen on the scene about an hour and a half.
The building is owned by Cecilia Ross of Centralia.
In September one of the fires caused an estimated $20,000 damage after an electrical outlet where a refrigerator was plugged in caught fire in an unoccupied unit. The other fire in September did not cause any significant damage.