The Gem Apartments building in Corvallis was evacuated for about 45 minutes on Sunday after the food that was left unattended in a stove on the second floor of the building filled it with smoke.
Kevin Fulsher, a battalion chief with the Corvallis Fire Department, said the crews were summoned at 11:57 a.m. and that the firemen were at the scene in three minutes. He said that although reports suggested there was smoke but no fire, he wanted more than the crew of three who initially responded to clear the building, so he asked for more support. In total, five firefighters responded.
"It's a big building and we wanted to take precautions, that's why we started," he said.
Fulsher said the food was left in a locked apartment and, when a crew was brought into the building, the firemen had to knock down a door to get to it. He said there could never have been a real fire and that there was not enough heat to activate the building's sprinkler systems. The firemen pulled the food out of the stove and put out the stove, he said.
Fulsher said the situation was fully controlled within 20 minutes of the initial call. The firemen then ventilated the building with fans.
Fulsher said he tested several points in the building with an air quality monitor to make sure the air was safe and then allowed residents to return to the building. At least 20 residents waited outside while the building was ventilated. No injuries were reported in the incident.
Anthony Rimel covers weekends, education, courts and crime, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, 541-758-9526, or through Twitter @anthonyrimel.