A fire ripped through the Coast Seafood processing facility off State Route 105 near the Ocean Spray cranberry plant in Markham Tuesday afternoon.
The fire was reported shortly after noon Tuesday at 58 Old Westport Road. Crews from the South Beach Regional Fire Authority responded and found the wooden structure fully engulfed in flames. Additional equipment and personnel from Grays Harbor Fire District 2 also responded to the scene.
Thick black smoke poured from the structure, and flames were visible from State Route 105. Employees at the scene reported they believed everyone was able to get out safely as they stood uphill on Old Westport Road looking over the burning structure where they had been working just a few minutes earlier. Two witnesses reported seeing flames and smoke from State Route 105 near the piles of oyster shells behind the Ocean Spray cranberry facility as they traveled from Westport to Aberdeen. The smoke was also reportedly visible from the Chehalis River Bridge in Aberdeen.
The fire burned hot and fast, fueled by multiple propane tanks on the property. Hissing and popping from the tanks and from collapsing wood timbers could be heard as the fire consumed the building. Firefighters appeared to be limited to fighting the fire from the perimeter to keep it from spreading.
There were few official details as of press time. The building appeared to be a total loss.