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Fire at KapStone Longview, Washington facility

LONGVIEW, Washington (From The Daily News) -- A furnace fire that began at the KapStone Paper & Packaging facility in Longview posed significant challenges to firefighters as they tried to infiltrate the blaze without disturbing any asbestos.

Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue and Longview firefighters were called out to the site at 12:32 p.m. Monday, 13 Feb 2017, and the fire continued to occupy responders well into Monday night. Five fire engines, a ladder truck and two command vehicles responded.

Firefighters were on site for at least two hours and were called again at about 5 p.m. More firefighters were dispatched shortly before 6:30 p.m. Cowlitz 2 Fire Chief Dave LaFave said the fire was "labor-intensive" but had resulted in no injuries.

The fire began in the building's furnace on the fourth floor, which is surrounded by material that contained asbestos, according to Longview Fire Lt. Derek Stabell.

"It's difficult to penetrate that without putting guys at risk and disturbing the asbestos," Stabell said.

Stabell said responders were able to extinguish some of the fire through the exterior but couldn't get to the origin of the fire within the furnace, leading to more smoldering fires. There was some damage to the exterior of the building, Stabell said.

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Join Jim Thompson on the 2nd Annual Papermakers Mission Trip to Guatemala, 22 - 29 July 17. Build houses, talk about the pulp and paper industry. For more information, email jthompson@taii.com with "Guatemala" in the subject line.


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