Bags of pine cones block firefighters during 3-alarm fire - KPTV - FOX 12

Bags of pine cones block firefighters during 3-alarm fire

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A three-alarm fire damaged a building that houses a Christmas product business in Forest Grove on Tuesday morning, and fire crews ran into trouble when large bags of pine cones slowed their firefighting efforts.

Forest Grove firefighter Matt Johnston said crews initially responded to an alarm at Oregon Holiday Products around 4 a.m. and found smoke at the building at 2331 23rd Ave.

There were initial reports that someone may have been living in an RV in an adjoining business, but that turned out to be false.

Firefighters entered the building and knocked down the flames, but they had a hard time seeing inside because of the thick smoke filling the building.

With the smoke so thick, the fire department called in a third alarm to bring more resources to the scene.

Crews eventually cut openings in metal roll up doors and in the roof of the building. That increased the visibility inside and firefighters fully extinguished the fire.

Oregon Holiday Products makes scented pine cones for the holidays, and that involves cleaning the cones and applying cinnamon scent, plus packaging the product.

Fire officials said the numerous bags of pine cones made it difficult for firefighters to operate.

There's no word yet on what caused the fire. Johnston said a sprinkler system played a big role in stopping the fire from spreading.

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