Small fire in Blaine commercial building

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A small fire occurred in a commercial building on Odell Road, but was extinguished by a sprinkler system that prevented any significant structural damage to the building.

On March 1 at about 2 p.m., a fire broke out in a commercial building at 2256 Odell Road in Blaine. The fire occurred in a manufacturing area, and North Whatcom Fire and Rescue (NWFR) was dispatched following an alarm. “We got dispatched to it as a sprinkler/water flow alarm, a fire alarm telling us that the sprinkler system was flowing,” said NWFR division chief and fire marshal Herschel Rostov.

Rostov said that when NWFR firefighters arrived on scene, they found smoke and fire inside the building. However, a sprinkler head had mostly extinguished the fire before it extended very far. Firefighters shut off the water flow, searched the building, determined the extent of damage and ventilated the building to clear the smoke.

“Sprinkler systems can sometimes be an item that building owners find to be very expensive,” said Rostov. “In this case, that single sprinkler head probably kept the whole building from burning down. This is one of those situations where it was very effective and efficient.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Rostov said. He said that the fire appeared to be accidental and that nobody was injured in the incident.

The building is owned by Hugh Wiebe, who said the fire occurred in a space rented to the Bellingham company Cauldron Broths. He said that he is currently working with NWFR to assess the damage, which appears to be limited to smoke damage to some products.

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