Fire burns Underwood Fruit & Warehouse Wednesday

Power outages in west Bingen

Underwood Fruit & Warehouse fire, seen from Best Western Plus Hood River Inn Wednesday morning.

Photo by RJ Chavez
Underwood Fruit & Warehouse fire, seen from Best Western Plus Hood River Inn Wednesday morning.

Flames rise from the Underwood Fruit & Warehouse building in Bingen, seen from across the Columbia River at Best Western Plus Hood River Inn shortly after 8:30 a.m. The fire started early this morning. A 9:18 a.m. emergency alert from Klickitat County stated the fire is "isolated to the building of origin." Power outages are reported in Bingen. No injuries or evacuations reported at this time. Photo by RJ Chavez, Hood River News.

Underwood Fruit, formed in 1917, is a regional shipping and packing facility for various produce such as apples, pears and cherries grown throughout the Columbia River Gorge.

10:45 update from Klickitat County Emergency Management:

At about 5:45 this morning, Wednesday, Oct. 18, an industrial fire broke out at the Underwood Fruit & Warehouse Co. on the west end of Bingen. At this time the fire is isolated to the building of origin. Areas of Bingen and White Salmon are experiencing power outages due to the fire. There have been no hazardous material released off site and there are no evacuation orders in place at this time.

There are 11 Klickitat County fire departments (that responded), a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad fire train, Hood River Fire Department, Skamania Fire Department, and Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue involved in the firefighting efforts.

School update:

White Salmon Sch. District: Due to air quality all students will be kept indoors for recess and after school activities, including athletics. If you have a child that walks home from school and would like to make arrangements, please contact the office of the school your child attends.

Underwood Fire Update 3:40 p.m. Wednesday

A fire that broke out at Underwood Fruit & Warehouse Wednesday morning is still burning, Klickitat County Emergency Management announced in an automated phone message around 3:40 p.m.

The fire is still contained to the Underwood Fruit structure, and is still active inside the structure. “Anticipate smoke in the air for the next few hours,” the message said. Those near the area should stay indoors due to poor air quality.

Highway 14 is open, but may close if conditions change.

Fire agencies from Oregon and Washington have teamed up the battle the fire.

According to a 3:43 p.m. scanner report, Hood River County engines were called out to relieve the crews stationed on scene in Bingen.

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