GRESHAM, OR (KPTV) – A two-alarm fire destroyed an auto-wrecking shop in Gresham Tuesday morning and almost killed the shop dog.
Gresham fire responded to the blaze in the 2100 block of Southeast 190th Avenue just after 9:30 a.m. and says several workers were inside the building with the fire started. Because of the commotion and smoke, the dog was left behind, firefighters say.
Video later shows Rocky the shop dog running to safety as crews battled heavy fire conditions. When crews arrived at the scene, they reported the one-story building was fully involved.
Gresham fire said many vehicles inside the building were involved. Firefighters say initial reports indicate the fire started while workers were draining fuel out of a car up on jacks. Crews at first had trouble reaching the flames because of all the cars surrounding the building.
John Reiff works next door to the auto-wrecking shop and says he ran outside and started shooting video of the fire.
“There was a lot of commotion, there was one guy that was unaccounted for for a while, but apparently, he was in the back part of the property, so he was okay,” Reiff said.
That’s when Reiff says he heard people talking about Rocky.
“They forgot about Rocky, he was in a cage … they realized no one had gotten the dog, so the fire department and one of the employees ran in there and got him and drug him out,” Reiff said.
Rocky went home with the wrecking shop owner Tuesday night. The owner did not want to go on camera, but said he believes the fire started after one of his worker’s drills caught fire. He says they keep more fire extinguishers on-hand than necessary, but the flames grew out of control almost instantly.
Crews dealt with oil spills from the building in addition to the blaze, but firefighters say the environmental impact was minimal.
Things are winding down at Gresham Auto Wrecking. This is taken a few minutes ago. Firefighters are done hitting hot spots right now. The owner says it’s his only business, but is in much better spirits than I’d be in this situation. @fox12oregon pic.twitter.com/Q0GjlLTOkw— Brenna Kelly (@BrennaKellyNews) October 8, 2019
The public was asked to avoid the area of Southeast 190th south of Southeast Yamhill while crews were on scene. The fire marshal’s office is investigating.
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