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Fire damages multiple Lebanon storage units

Heavy fire consumed multiple storage units at Copper Canyon Storage, 1150 Airway Road, in Lebanon on on July 18, according to a news release from the Lebanon Fire District.

At 7:28 p.m. a caller reported flames from the roof of the structure and multiple explosions from inside the storage units.

Bystanders attempted to extinguish the blaze with portable fire extinguishers located on site, but the intense heat and locked metal doors rendered their efforts ineffective.

An LFD engine was on scene within three minutes of the alarm, followed by two division chiefs, a second engine, a medic unit, and a battalion chief.

First arriving units encountered heavy fire in multiple 10-foot by 20-foot units and heavy smoke which banked down to the ground, limiting visibility.

LFD Division Chief Jason Bolen said fires in storage units present a multitude of issues for firefighters to deal with.

“Access to both the individual units and the complex can be difficult and can really slow suppression efforts.” Bolen said. “In this case first arriving units made quick access through the security gates because the owners had just installed Knox Locks on their gates.”

A Knox Lock is a secured padlock or vault which only firefighters can access with a special key carried on all their apparatus. LFD engine companies entered eight to 10 separate storage units to fight fire and ensure that no fire extended into other units.

The compact nature of storage units also hampers fire crews, as people tend to pack their units full of combustibles making firefighting and salvage efforts more difficult than the typical house fire.

The Lebanon Fire Investigation Team will be investigating the cause of the fire. There are no estimates on damages to the structure or contents at this time.

The property, which opened less than three months ago, was insured however contents are insured by the individual homeowner’s policy or renter’s policy of each unit tenant.

LFD expects to conclude its investigation on Wednesday and release the property back to the owner, who can then allow renters to access their storage units.

One person was treated for smoke inhalation on scene but they refused transport to the hospital for further evaluation. There were no firefighter injuries. A total of eight LFD units responded to the fire along with two mutual aid units from the Tangent Fire District. Units cleared the scene in just under two hours.