Central Pierce Fire and Rescue busy with local emergencies

by Bruce A. Smith

Editor’s Note,

After four weeks back in NY visiting family and meeting with agents and publishers regarding my book on DB Cooper, I am finally back in the saddle at the Mountain News.  In my absence the Central Pierce Fire and Rescue has been very busy handling some strange incidents in our community – one, a haz-mat occurrence at GoodSamHospital and the second a multi-structure fire in Midland.  Here are CP’s reports.


Incident with hazardous material at Good Samaritan Hospital

From Guy Overby, Deputy Fire Chief, Central Pierce Fire and Rescue, September 11, 2013

 Puyallup, WA – At 0928 this morning, 11 units from Central Pierce Fire & Rescue responded to a hazardous materials incident at Multi Care Hospital Emergency Room in Puyallup, 401 15th Ave SE. A chemical reaction occurred when an Emergency Room worker poured some drain cleaner down a sink causing eight people to complain of respiratory distress and eye irritation. Six of the eight victims were Multi Care employees, one was a patient being treated in the ER and another was a relative of a patient. All patients were treated at the scene with a minimal hands and face decontamination.

 The Emergency Room was shut down for approximately two hours prior to allowing workers and patients back into the ER. The incident was contained to the ER and no other areas of the hospital were affected. The exact cause of the chemical reaction is currently unknown.


Fires in Midland, Arson Suspected

From Ed Hrivnak, Assistant Chief of Prevention and Education

 At approximately 12:30 am last Wednesday,  Central Pierce Fire and Rescue was dispatched to a reported house fire at the 1700 block of 91st St, E in Midland.  First arriving units found an abandon home 50 % involved with flames and smoke.  They initiated a defensive fire attack.  During the course of extinguishing the fire, citizens approached Incident Command and reported that the Golgatha Baptist Church at 85th and Portland was also on fire. 

 Units were pulled from the first fire to investigate the church fire.  First arriving unit at the church reported an exterior fire at the front of the building, lapping up into the roof line.  A second alarm was declared and an offensive attack was initiated.

 One of the arriving companies came upon a car fire just north of the church and extinguished that fire.

 Fire crews went interior at the church to extinguish a rapidly moving fire.  Ladder companies attempted to vertically ventilate the building from the roof, using chain saws to open a hole, to allow hot fire gases and smoke to be expelled from the building.  Due to remodels, and multiple layers of ceiling, vertical ventilation was not possible. A third alarm was requested.

 Interior fire and smoke conditions worsened, and the decision was made by command to withdraw from the building.  Fire crews transitioned to a defensive attack and master streams were set up from aerial ladders.  During the course of extinguishing this fire, the roof collapsed causing extensive damage to the building.

 The fire was out  and many of the units returned to service by 4 am.  The building is considered a total loss, estimated at $1 million dollars.

 Over 50 firefighters were involved in the fire attack for  the 3 fires with automatic mutual aid by Tacoma Fire Department and mutual aid by Graham Fire and Rescue.  Nine deputies from Pierce County Sheriff’s Office provided security and searched for a man spotting leaving the church at the time of the fire.  One adult male was apprehended by PCSO.  He is being held for attempted arson.

 This fire is being investigated as an arson fire by Pierce County Fire Marshall’s Office and Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.

 No injuries were reported by civilians, fire, or law enforcement personnel.

 We thank the citizens of Midland for the quick reporting of this fire and the information provided that helped with finding the suspect.

 Further information on the criminal investigation  will be provided by the sheriff’s office.

 Further information on the fire investigation will be provided by the Pierce County Fire Marshall’s Office.

This entry was posted in Cops and courts, Events, Graham News, Puyallup. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Central Pierce Fire and Rescue busy with local emergencies

  1. Don and Ange says:

    Incedible! I was just reading your report of the murder of Cori Lewis, marking the tragedy’s two-year anniversary. I’m thankful for your capable reporting that helps us remember Cori. Welcome back.

  2. John Marshall says:

    Welcome back!

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