TOPPENISH, Wash. - A fire broke out in Toppenish when a city employee was trying to clean a paint gun.
The fire started at the Public Works Department on 8 Buena Road around 2:40 pm, Wednesday. Firefighters were on the scene three minutes later and the building was already engulfed in flames when they arrived.
The city employee was cleaning out a paint gun using thinner and paint cleaner, which caused a reaction, according to Toppenish Fire Chief Timothy Smith. The employee tried to put out the fire with an extinguisher but was unsuccessful.
The fire caused more than $1 million in damages, including the loss of six city vehicles, a forklift, generators, air compressors and three employee vehicles that were parked next to the building, according to Smith.
Smith said the fire was contained Wednesday afternoon and crews would stay on the scene to monitor it.
“In total we have about 30 people here and we’re probably going to be here into the evening putting out hot spots and completing the investigation,” he said.
Smith said one city employee was treated on the site for smoke inhalation but no one was seriously injured.