At 7:15 a.m. on Feb. 25, Tacoma firefighters from stations 1,2,4,8,11,12, and 17 responded to a commercial structure fire in a aerospace part manufacturing facility at 2024 Puyallup Ave.
The first arriving engine company found smoke showing from the eves of the 52,000 square foot machine shop building. Upon further investigation, crews found a fire had started in a large "parts" deburring machine.
With the combustible metal titanium intensely burning around the machine and in its associated collection hoppers, crews initially managed interior exposures while devising an operationally strategy to attack the blaze.
Since titanium is a water reactive material, so putting water on the fire would have made it worse, crews had to carefully work their way around the machine and fight the fire by using numerous dry chemical and CO2 extinguishers.
Once out, crews turned their attention to ventilating the heavy layer of smoke that had built up inside the structure during the extended extinguishment of the fire.
All of the facilities employees were able to escape without harm, with one person being evaluated by paramedics and released at the scene.
The cause of the fire was the ignition of titanium metal shavings, resulting in an estimated $55,000 damage to the building and machinery.