Fire erupts again in Landing battery room
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Arwyn Rice/Peninsula Daily News
Port Angeles Fire Captain Terry Reid and engineer Dave Chastain set up barriers to keep people away from a battery room in The Landing mall after a second fire broke out in the room early Monday.

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A bank of power-system batteries that burned Wednesday at The Landing mall caught fire again Monday morning, but no additional damage was done by the small fire.

Firefighters were able to put out the fire with a hand-held, dry-chemical extinguisher, Fire Capt. Terry Reid said.

The system already was isolated from rest of The Landing mall, 115 E. Railroad Ave., and didn't set off fire alarms in the main building, Reid said.

A single 9-1-1 caller to PenCom at 8:43 a.m. simply said that there was another fire in the battery room at The Landing, then the caller hung up, he said.

Reid said when crews arrived at the fire after
8 a.m., they found a single battery that had survived the first fire holding enough to ignite and melt plastic around it.

It and the other batteries were used to store power during non-peak periods.

Last week's fire in the battery room at the northeast corner of the building burned for several hours Wednesday and resulted in the mall's temporary closure as well as evacuation of City Pier across an estuary due to smoke being blown eastward.

An electrical fault in the battery system was thought to have caused Wednesday's fire.

Damage to the mall in that fire was limited to the battery room, which was isolated from the rest of the mall with a fire suppression system.

Sarah Cronauer, widow of Paul Cronauer, whose estate owns The Landing mall, said Thursday that the fire did not damage any other areas of the mall.

The fire started in a room built around banks of batteries that stored excess power to the building during low-power usage and fed it back into the building during high-usage times.

The system also was designed to store electricity generated by the waterfront wind, but turbines were not hooked up to the system when Wednesday's fire broke out.

Cronauer has contracted a crew to clear out the battery room and remove the damaged and burned battery system, Reid said.

A live hagfish operation located on a pier jutting north from the mall lost about 1,800 pounds of hagfish, an Asian delicacy valued at $6,000, when the water circulation system failed after power was cut to the building during Wednesday's fire.

Olympic Coast Seafoods previously has said the company has a contract to send hagfish waste and dead fish to a landfill.

Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at

Last modified: July 08. 2013 6:13PM
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