EUGENE, Ore – An investigation is underway after fire crews said an early morning fire appears to have been caused by arson.
Several fire crews responded to an initial call for a structure fire at 5:50 AM at Eugene Palette Enterprises.
DeWayne Brey was the first employee to arrive to work and open the business Tuesday morning. He said he saw the smoke coming from the building and immediately called 911.
The fire started in a back office of the business but firefighters do not know the cause it.
Fire crews have handed the case over to the Lane County Sheriff's Office for a possible arson investigation. They added that it appears there was a break-in sometime overnight.
No injuries were reported. Fire crews said there was no damage to the building but there may be damage to the contents inside the building.
"The fire was in the first floor of the building. The reason why it was probably so smoky is because there's limited access to the first floor. It was very cluttered and hard to find our way around to locate the fire," said Chief Terry Ney with Lane Fire Authority.
There were 19 firefighters on scene with fire crews from Santa Clara, Junction City, Eugene-Springfield, and Lane Fire Authority.
A large number of crews were sent out in response because it was a large commercial building and crews were dealing with an “unknown situation.”