Cause of Nov. 21 fire at commercial outbuilding in Centralia hasn’t been determined 


Fire investigators have ruled the cause of a fire in a commercial outbuilding at the corner of  North Pearl and Fourth streets in Centralia last week as undetermined, according to the Riverside Fire Authority. 

Fire crews were dispatched to the fire at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 21, and cleared the scene at approximately 8:30 p.m. that same evening. 

Due to reports relayed via dispatch that the fire had possibly spread to multiple buildings, the fire was upgraded to a two-alarm fire, which brought in resources from outside mutual aid partners, according to the Riverside Fire Authority. Responding mutual aid partners included the Chehalis Fire Department, the West Thurston Regional Fire Authority, and Lewis County Fire Districts 5, 6 and 13. 

“(There was) quite a bit of commotion, quite a bit of resources on the street dealing with that,” Riverside Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Anderson said of the fire. 

A local firefighters union, Centralia Firefighters IAFF Local 451, reported “Firefighters arrived to find a metal building with fire showing from all sides.” 

While there were reports the fire had spread to multiple properties, fire crews were able to contain the fire to the outbuilding it originated in, Anderson said. 

“It didn’t spread to any residential occupancies that were across the alley,” he said. 

One phone pole was damaged, which may have caused some outages nearby, Anderson said. 

The building “did appear it was being used as shelter,” Anderson said, but fire crews found no one inside or in proximity of the building when they responded. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is undetermined, but there was “nothing indicated” in the investigation that led investigators to believe the cause of the fire was “of a suspicious or malicious intent,” Anderson said.