Toppenish officials expect to release a report Monday on the cause of the fire that destroyed one of the Public Works Department’s buildings.
Investigators and insurance appraisers spent the day examining the remains of the Buena Way building, Fire Chief Timothy Smith said. The fire damage is expected to exceed $1 million for the building and its contents, including six trucks.
Meanwhile, the city’s public works superintendent said crews were back at work Thursday and were not borrowing equipment at this point.
“For now, it’s business as usual,” Rocky Wallace said. “We improvise, adapt and overcome.”
A fire broke out shortly before 2:40 p.m. Thursday as an employee was cleaning a paint sprayer, Smith said. The employee tried to fight the fire with an extinguisher, but it grew too fast, Smith said.
Arriving firefighters found the building engulfed in flames. The fire grew rapidly due to the combination of an older building that did not have drywall firewalls and a variety of combustible materials stored inside, including fuel in vehicle tanks and plastic traffic cones.
The building, which Smith said dates to 1904, did not have a sprinkler system and was not required to be upgraded since the city was its sole owner.
Burning debris did land on the roof of a home in the 600 block of Washington Avenue, but Smith said residents used a garden hose to put it out before firefighters arrived.