Salem Firefighters Battle Blaze at Downtown High-Rise
A fire on the third floor of the Salem Housing Authority building forced firefighters to order a partial evacuation late Sunday night.
At about 10:30 p.m., local firefighters responded to a reported fire inside unit 301, located on the third floor of the 12-story building.
All of the building's third-floor residents were temporarily evacuated and the fire caused "heavy smoke and a lot of heat," a fire official said Sunday night.
Thankfully, the building's sprinkler system worked when triggered, firefighters said on scene.
It was clear from the amount of water pouring down through the ceiling in the lobby that the fire caused extensive water damage and firefighters noted that both elevators had to be shut down.
The elderly resident who lived in the unit where the fire originated was taken to Salem Hospital by ambulance to be treated for smoke inhalation.
The rest of the building's tenants were told to "shelter in place" or remain in their rooms while firefighters extinguished the fire, according to fire officials on scene.
Although the fire appeared to have been accidental and possibly the result of smoking, the investigation into the cause is ongoing, fire investigator Lt. Tim Flynn said early Monday morning.
The building has apartments for the elderly and disabled.
Salem Patch will post updates as they become available.