Fire hits Reiff Manufacturing near Walla Walla Airport

Reiff Manufacturing's facility near the Walla Walla Regional Airport was badly damaged this morning.

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Firefighters arrive on the scene of a smokey industrial fire at Reiff Manufacturing Monday morning. Monday, April 12, 2010

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A firefighter is hosed down after working inside the Reiff Manufacturing plant to extinguish a Monday morning fire that broke out at the fiberglass manufacturing plant. Monday, April 12, 2010

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After cutting holes in large roll-up doors, firefighteres work to extinguish a smokey blaze at Reiff Manufacturing Monday morning. Monday, April 12, 2010

Watch video report by Maria Gonzalez below.

WALLA WALLA -- A local manufacturing company was heavily damaged by fire this morning.

Firefighters with Walla Walla Fire District 4 were called to Reiff Manufacturing, 670 B St., shortly before 9:30 a.m. for a warehouse fire. The fire appeared to be burning aggressively in part because of chemicals at the warehouse used for producing fiberglass. Reiff is a manufacturer of fiberglass products, and lists shelters, fire tanks and aquaculture among its manufacturing services. Reiff is near the Walla Walla Regional Airport in a primarily industrial park.

Fire District 4 crews received support from the city of Walla Walla Fire Department, which brought in a ladder truck about 10:30 a.m. to provide firefighters with better access to the roof.

District 4 Assistant Chief Brian Jones said the fire was mostly contained by about 10 a.m., but crews still had to focus on clearing smoke, checking for hot spots and doing a general overhaul before they could clear the scene. Firefighters were cautiously working their way through the building, cutting holes in the roof to help clear smoke, and sawing through metal doors for greater access. Fire hoses were periodically sprayed into the building, the water reaching toward the ceiling, and in one case the spray helped knock down one of the doors.

Jones said he believed Reiff employees had been at work in the warehouse when the fire began. There appear to have been no injuries reported. Jones said the cause of the fire was still being investigated.

Maria P. Gonzalez can be reached at mariagonzalez@wwub.com or 526-8317. Check out her blog at blogs.ublabs.org/schoolhousemissives.

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