Springfield, OR – Fire in mixed-use apartment building quickly extinguished by sprinkler system

A kitchen fire damaged an apartment building in the heart of downtown Springfield on Friday.  There were no injuries.  Firefighters were dispatched to the Royal Building at Main and Fifth streets shortly after 1 p.m. The building, developed and owned by St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County, has 35 apartments on four upper floors as well as ground-floor retail.  The building’s sprinkler system quickly extinguished the fire in a third-floor apartment, but the water ran down into the lower floors, said Jeff Kronser, battalion chief for Eugene Springfield Fire.

Terry McDonald, St. Vincent de Paul’s executive director, said employees were assessing the damage and working to get tenants back into the building.  It wasn’t immediately clear how many tenants the fire displaced.  Tenant Sharon Quest said another tenant had left the building while food was cooking on a stove. Quest said the tenant returned after firefighters arrived.

“It must have burned pretty good to start a fire,” she said.  One of the ground-floor tenants is the Mezza Luna Pizzeria. Employee Chad Ouellette said some soaked ceiling tiles collapsed because of the water, but otherwise the damage was minimal.  The pizzeria was closing for the day but planned to reopen Saturday, he said.  The fire remained under investigation.

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