An Estimated $17-million in Damages to Structures and Fruit
Information submitted by Chelan County Fire Marshal. Photo courtesy of KPQ News
On March 3, 2019 at approximately 7:05 PM a fire was reported at the Bluebird facility located at 10135 Peshastin Mill Rd. The fire destroyed a 36,000 square foot structure. The structure contained 12 CA rooms, 10 of which contained approximately 250,000 boxes of packed pears. The estimated dollar loss is approximately $9,000,000 for the fruit and approximately $8,000,000 for the structure.
A fire investigation ensued and was a cooperative effort with the Chelan County Department of Fire Prevention and Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) fire investigation section, the Chelan County Sheriff’s office, and fire investigators representing Travelers Insurance.
Through the process of interviews, eye witness reports and investigation of the fire scene the area of origin has been narrowed down to an area outside of the structure where pallets of cardboard and other combustible material used in the packing of fruit was stored under an awning prior to being used. We identified a light in the area of origin as a possible ignition source; however, we were not able to exclude the possibility that the fire was intentionally set. At this time, the fire is classified as undetermined.
The demolition of the building will occur in the next 2 weeks. The interior of the building will continue to smoke and at times open flames will occur as material continues to consume. The county road will remained closed as the road will be used to transfer material out of the rooms. The North wall continues to be unstable and the public is advised to stay out of the area due to the possibility of collapse outward toward the road.