SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Thursday’s massive fire is now fully contained, but not before devastation.
Crews from eight different jurisdictions worked to put out the fire, but also battled high temperatures winds and low humidity. Then there were the technical difficulties.
“The sprinkler system as the building collapsed broke open, so we had open pipes flowing water, which affected the water pressure of the private hydrant system that protects the mill. That’s been restored today (Friday), so we have water again,” said Randy Groves, Eugene-Springfield Fire Chief.
‘No matter how much water we had yesterday (Thursday)…I’m convinced the outcome would’ve been the same,” Groves said.
On Friday, the scene was much different than Thursday night.
The flames are out, the sirens and crowds are gone, replaced with smoke and questions about what exactly happened inside the fallen walls.
“At this point we still know the origin, which was in one of the dryers, but we do not know the cause at this time,” Groves said.
So now their focus is on making sure things don’t start back up and protecting what was lucky enough to be spared.
“We’re still concerned with the area directly south of mill. There’s a lot of wildland area, dry grass,” Groves said.
As well as homes they want to remain unscathed. So they’ll continue their overnight watches, likely through the weekend.
“When we’re comfortable clearing from the scene, we will do so, but until then we want to make sure we have an active fire watch,” Groves said.
Crews say they will remain at the site on fire watch. About 20 personnel were there Friday, and that will change according to the status of the site.
There’s still no total amount on damage, but estimates are in the millions.