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Firefighters spray Dumpster area, building to keep titanium fire from spreading

Poulsbo Fire Department and Navy Region Northwest firefighters cool the area around a Dumpster fire Tuesday morning. The Dumpster contained titanium shavings and had to burn itself out. - Jody Matson / Poulsbo Fire Department
Poulsbo Fire Department and Navy Region Northwest firefighters cool the area around a Dumpster fire Tuesday morning. The Dumpster contained titanium shavings and had to burn itself out.
— image credit: Jody Matson / Poulsbo Fire Department

Water and foam would have been the worst things to put on this fire.

Poulsbo Fire Department and Navy Region Northwest firefighters let a Dumpster fire burn itself out Tuesday morning, when it was determined the Dumpster contained titanium shavings. Firefighters went to the scene, the Twelve Trees Business Park on Pioneer Way just off Highway 3, at 11 a.m. Hazmat crews chose to allow the fire to burn itself out, as water or foam could make the fire worse. Firefighters cooled the nearby structure and the outside of the Dumpster with water to prevent more ignitions.

“Our main concern with this type of fire is to keep the area clear of bystanders, as the fumes can be hazardous to your health," Battalion Chief Chris Morrison said in a press release. "There was also some concern about an underground gas line that led to nearby propane tanks, and there were barrels that contained oil products in close proximity. We wanted to ensure the fire didn’t get too hot and spread to the nearby building.”

The business uses titanium to make prosthetic limbs and the business manager said an employee was attempting to weld a crack in the Dumpster when the contents ignited. There were no injuries; the fire extinguished itself in just under three hours.

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