6 buildings destroyed, 1 man hurt after fire sweeps across properties near Tri-Cities

A two-alarm blaze destroyed six buildings, damaged another and left a man suffering from smoke inhalation Tuesday afternoon.

The fire swept across four Benton City properties on the 69000 block of North Harrison Loop and wrecked a home, a detached shop and several other outbuildings, said Todd Dormaier, Benton County Fire District 2 assistant chief.

A caller initially reported the fire to 911 about 1:15 p.m., saying a spark from a lawnmower set off a small fire in the grass. The caller initially believed it was controlled.

“When we got there, it was very out of control,” Dormaier said.

A fire burned through four residential properties on this block of Harrison Loop in Benton City.
A fire burned through four residential properties on this block of Harrison Loop in Benton City.

The fire quickly spread into arborvitae and other dry grass and sagebrush before being carried to the buildings. Firefighters were able to stop its advance after it grew to about an acre.

One of the property owners suffered from smoke inhalation and was treated on the scene.

Benton County Fire District 2 had help from Benton fire districts 1 and 4, Franklin County Fire District 3, Kennewick and Richland fire departments along with the federal Bureau of Land Management.

They were able to get the fire under control about 5:12 p.m., and stayed on the scene until Wednesday to monitor the fire.

Dormaier said investigators were still working to confirm how the fire started.

Kennewick fire

The Benton City fire was the first of two that destroyed buildings Tuesday. Kennewick firefighters responded to a burning manufactured home about 3 p.m. Tuesday at 1321 Cascade Street.

At first firefighters were told it was a vehicle fire, then a burning RV, according to a release from Kennewick Fire Department.

The situation became clearer when firefighters arrived at the scene and discovered the fire was burning a manufactured home and other outbuildings next to an RV.

Firefighters were able to put out the blaze in about 30 minutes, and two crews stayed on the scene for several hours to put out hot spots.

Franklin County Fire District 3 responded with a water tender because there was limited access to a hydrant for the area.

No one was hurt.

Firefighters believe the blaze started because of someone burning items outside.