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Structural Fire Damages Concession Facility

Crater Lake National Park

National Park News

A fire started in the laundry room of the camper store in Mazama Village sometime between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. on the morning of Monday, July 21st. Xanterra concession employees who were working near the area at the time noticed smoke coming out of the store, discovered flames and a small fire just inside the exterior laundry room door at the back of the building, and called 911 and park protection rangers via radio. They then returned to the laundry room door and used handheld fire extinguishers to attack the fire through a crack in the door. Ranger Pieter Sween soon arrived on scene and set up an incident command. He was followed by ranger Marshall Neeck  and the park’s structural engine, which was staffed by firefighters Liza Wall, Bill Devereaux and Cory Wall. Sixty minutes after the initial call, the Chiloquin Volunteer Fire Department company arrived with two engines, a water tender, and a full complement of firefighters. Working in concert with park staff, the Chiloquin company had the fire contained within 20 minutes. Mop-up operations continued until approximately 6:30 a.m. The laundry room itself sustained considerable damage. The fuel dispensing electronics that control the gas pumps were destroyed and will take at least a few days to repair.  All three commercial grade washers and three commercial grade dryers were destroyed, along with three-fifths of the linen/laundry stock of the entire concession operation. Numerous electrical circuits were also damaged, which in turn shutdown propane service, phone service, computer functions, and refrigeration units. Structural damage to the building was minimal and was restricted mainly to the door and exterior entry to the laundry room, but smoke damage was widespread (the full extent has yet to be ascertained). Xanterra has made an initial estimate of damages in excess of $75,000. The company hoped to have partial power restored by early Tuesday. They plan to reopen the camper store in a limited capacity as soon as possible, and anticipate that fueling operations will be up and running by the end of the week. Emergency purchases have been made to replace lost linens and towels, and temporary laundry functions will be performed at the Rim Dorm and Mazama Dorm. An assistant state fire marshal conducted an investigation immediately after the incident and has ruled the fire accidental. The cause of the fire has been determined as spontaneous combustion as a result of oil/grease rags that had been recently laundered and piled in large plastic cart.


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