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Fire causes some damage to Renton coil-manufacturing plant Tuesday

Two top executives of Renton Coil Springs, Andy Knebel, left, and Charles Pepka, discuss the fire that caused some damage to their building Tuesday morning on South Seventh Street in Renton. Fans are helping clear the air inside. - Dean A. Radford/Renton Reporter
Two top executives of Renton Coil Springs, Andy Knebel, left, and Charles Pepka, discuss the fire that caused some damage to their building Tuesday morning on South Seventh Street in Renton. Fans are helping clear the air inside.
— image credit: Dean A. Radford/Renton Reporter

A fire in a dust-collection system Tuesday morning rousted employees of Renton Spring Coil and caused about $100,000 of damage on South Seventh Street near downtown Renton.

No one was injured. There was some water damage; ventilation holes cut in the building's roof to ensure the fire didn't spread were repaired.

About 50 people work at the plant. They waited in the parking lot while fire crews fought the fire and then inspected the building.

The company holds regular fire drills. Employees were out of the building and all were safe immediately after the alarm went off, said Charles Pepka, the company's chief executive officer.

About 40 firefighters from Renton, Tukwila, Skyway and Kent responded to the two-alarm fire, according to Deputy Fire Chief Bill Flora.

It's typical for a fire department to take assistance from multiple districts, because it prevents any one district from being completely stripped of resources, he said.

The fire started at about 9:40 a.m. and was extinguished in about 30 minutes.

The fire was ruled accidental, Flora said. "A spark jumped into the dust- collection system and got lodged against a filter."

The company has had no history with fire issues in the past, Flora said.

Just 10 minutes before the fire broke out, a fire inspector had finished an inspection, Flora said, adding, "It was completely coincidental."

South Seventh Street was closed for about an hour and a half during the response. The business is near the South Renton Park and Ride Lot, so the large response was visible to many bus riders.

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