Asbestos found in debris from fire that destroyed warehouse unde - KPTV - FOX 12

Asbestos found in debris from fire that destroyed warehouse under Fremont Bridge

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Image: Oregon DEQ Image: Oregon DEQ
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Asbestos was found in the debris from a fire that destroyed a warehouse under the Fremont Bridge.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are working to develop plans to remove and dispose of the debris.

Anyone who lives or works near the fire scene on the 1300 block of North River Road is advised to avoid contact with the asbestos-containing material, which may look like ash or paper and crumbles to dust upon contact.

The material should not be touched or moved. DEQ reported that sweeping, vacuuming or moving the debris can increase the release of asbestos fibers.

It can also be carried into a home on shoes or the feet of pets.

Debris may have spread to two miles on each side of the Willamette River.

Efforts are underway to begin air monitoring and sampling as soon as possible. As the weather improves and conditions become drier, the risk of the asbestos debris becoming airborne may increase, according to DEQ.

Anyone who finds debris from the fire is asked to call 503-229-5815 and leave a message describing the debris and its location, along with the caller's name and phone number.

When asbestos-containing materials break down, asbestos fibers can be released. The fibers are very small and thin and cannot be seen without a microscope. Breathing these fibers can cause asbestos-related disease. They can stick in the lungs, causing asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.

A reward has been offered for information about Sunday night's fire. Investigators believe it started below the building in the wood pilings and pier that support the structure.

Firefighters received reports of warming and cooking fires in the area.

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