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Ceiling fire at Schultens Monday

A fire between the roof and insulation in the ceiling of Ray Schultens Motors caused little damage Monday, but smoke led to the evacuation of 48 employees.

Dan Hammel, division chief and fire marshal for Mid-Columbia Fire District, said the sprinkler system in the West Sixth Street building had doused flames by the time emergency responders arrived.

“We are using thermal imaging and pulling down insulation just to make sure it is extinguished and we’re not missing a spot,” he said at the scene.

The dispatch center relayed the call for help shortly after 2 p.m. June 9 and two engines arrived a short time later.

Hammel said Dallesport firefighters were standing by to lend assistance if a bigger crew was needed. He said the fire is believed to have been started by a torch used in a bolt cutting operation as part of a remodel project.

Schultens is in the process of expanding its show room, customer waiting area and service department.

Owner Bob Schultens said no real damage was done to the interior.

“I think we’re in good shape, this will just put us behind a little bit,” he said.


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