Central OregonFire rips through SW Madras building under construction; firefighters stop spread amid...

Fire rips through SW Madras building under construction; firefighters stop spread amid temps in the 100s

Fire rips through SW Madras building under construction; firefighters stop spread amid temps in the 100s

(Update: Comments from Fire Chief Jeff Blake)

MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) — A fire broke out in a building under construction on a very hot Thursday afternoon in a commercial area of southwest Madras and sent fierce, tall flames and black smoke clouds high into the sky.

The fire was reported around 2:40 p.m. at a commercial building near the corner of Highway 361 and Southwest Madison Street, officials said. Viewer video showed flames and smoke roaring from the two-story, partially finished structure.

Jefferson County Fire & EMS Chief Jeff Blake said the partially build structure did not have protection or prevention elements installed yet.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Redmond Fire crews were quickly called to assist Jefferson County Fire and EMS, and Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch also reported sending two crews for mutual aid.

Early on, the flames threatened to spread over a nearby hill and threaten more structures as firefighters worked in defensive mode and took frequent hydration breaks amid temperatures reportedly hitting 109 degrees in the area.

“In this kind of heat, all the fuel moistures are really low, so the fire is going to move faster, quicker and spread very quickly,” Blake said.

“The other side of that is our crews, working out in this heat. We have to recycle and rehab them frequently,” the first chief said, explaining “that’s why we have help from Redmond and Warm Springs here — to help us not only cover our calls that are occurring in our district, but also to get some rehab for the crews that are actually fighting fire.”

The post Fire rips through SW Madras building under construction; firefighters stop spread amid temps in the 100s appeared first on KTVZ.

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