Crews put out fire at Roseburg Forest Products facility
August 12, 2020
MEDFORD, Ore. (From news reports) -- Several fire crews responded after a fire broke out at Roseburg Forest Products in Medford on Aug. 11 around 4:50 am.
"First unit arrived on scene tied in with plant personnel and found working fire in the production area of the plant, from that point they made access to confirm fire location both in the pre-raw material area that goes into the presses that manufacture the fiberboard," Bryan Baumgartner, deputy chief of operations with the Medford Fire Department said.
Baumgartner said more crews were called in because of the location of the fire.
"We were able to keep it confined to that area, there was extension heading towards their finishing product section of the line, but we were able to keep it in check," he said. "Then had an extension to the press area structure which is very difficult to access, so at that point, a second alarm structure response was called."
Medford Fire Department was assisted by Jackson County Fire District 3. According to Baumgartner the fire caused enough damage to the plant that production will cease for at least 24 hours.
Baumgartner said due to the type of equipment at the plant this type of fire can be more difficult to extinguish.
"Metal fires are complex due to the amount of equipment, how things are designed, the intricacy," he said. "It's industrial size equipment, as well as a bunch of catwalks which is difficult to access."
Baumgartner noted that some upgrades to the plant helped keep the fire in check.
"They have done some upgrades and retros, the system automatically triggered and kept the fire in check to the main piping area, they still had some fire escape because you can't cover it all, that's where you need to have fire response and plant personnel on scene, which conducted initial operations prior to our arrival," he said.
There were no injuries reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.