Toxic Fire Destroys Ice Company in Coos County
by Annette Newell
Evacuation orders and warnings are now lifted for people who live along the southern Oregon coast, after a fire broke out at an ice-making plant.
Investigators are saying this fire, that left a critical business in ruins, started in a motor the plant used to compress ice.
The ice house in Charleston, Oregon caught fire, burning a type of ammonia fumes, which can be deadly if people inhale them.
For hours a mandatory evacuation order a mile wide sent people away, from a Coast Guard Station and nearby docks.
Coos County Sheriff’s Captain Gabe Fabrizio tells KXL, it wasn’t safe for Hazmat or fire crews either. “Firefighters and police have stayed away from it. The ice plant is actually over the water at the end of about a 300 foot dock, so it’s been very limited access. Thankfully the wind has been blowing from the south to the north, which pushed this black acrid smoke over the bay.”
This is a facility that produces ice which local fishermen and businesses depend on. The fire destroyed it, but the owner is saying he plans to rebuild.