By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – Centralia’s fire department extinguished fires today at a saw mill and a convenience store.
Firefighters called just after 5 o’clock this morning to Sierra Pacific at the 3100 block of Kuper Road found employees using hoses on the fire, according to Riverside Fire Authority.
The fire was in one of the chip bunkers – a storage area containing multiple augers and conveyor belts that deal with saw dust or wood chips, according to Fire Capt. Casey McCarthy.
Crews worked the scene for about two hours and were able to contain it to the bunker of origin, according to McCarthy. They were joined by members of the Chehalis Fire Department and West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.
The three departments met up again when they began getting reports about 9:15 a.m. of heavy smoke coming from the Handy Mart store on the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue.
They arrived to find the business was evacuated and found fire in the attached storage area at the back of the building, according to McCarthy.
They were able to keep the fire from spreading to the store itself, the captain stated in a brief summary of the incident.
All lanes of Harrison Avenue were closed for approximately 30 minutes while fire crews worked on scene.
McCarthy described the damage in both cases as moderate. The causes of both fires are under investigation.