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Fire razes Banks shop

THREE ALARMS -- No injuries are reported in the afternoon blaze that gutted a paint area at F and C Cabinet
by: Chase Allgood,

Nearly three dozen firefighters from five jurisdictions battled a three-alarm fire which destroyed the paint shop at a cabinet manufacturer north of Forest Grove last Wednesday.

The fire at F and C Cabinet started at about 2:30 p.m., according to Forest Grove Fire Chief Robert Mills.

Mills said that earlier in the afternoon workers had applied some lacquer to some cabinets and left them in the paint shop.

'About 20 minutes later,' he said, 'one of the guys came back and noticed smoke coming out of the building.'

By the time firefighters arrived, Mills said, the fire had engulfed the building.

'Once we determined there was no one inside, our main concern was making sure it didn't spread to other buildings,' Mills said. 'We pumped in a lot of water to get the heat down.'

Mills said it took about 30 firefighters a half-hour to get the fire under control. Given all the wood around and the proximity of adjacent structures, Mills said, 'it could have been a lot worse.'

Owner Florian Davis, Sr. told the News-Times he was frustrated by other media reports that gave the impression that the entire business had 'burned to the ground.'

'The only thing we lost was the paint shop,' he said. 'When I looked at the coverage, I couldn't believe it.'

Davis said his 46-year-old business, which employs about 80 people, didn't lose any productivity.

Last week his crews set up a temporary paint shop on the site, which is located at 6950 N.W. Kansas City Road, between Forest Grove and Banks.

This week, Davis said, they plan to begin painting in their new facility, in the industrial park on Yew Street in Forest Grove.

The Forest Grove firefighters were joined by crews from Banks, Cornelius, Gaston and Washington County Fire District 2.

No employees were injured, Mills said, though one firefighter from Cornelius to be treated for heat exhaustion at Tuality Hospital.

As of Tuesday, Fire Marshall Bill Bench was still trying to figure out what caused the blaze.