BREAKING NEWS- Fire at Central Building in Baker City

By on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024 in More Top Stories Northeastern Oregon News

BAKER CITY- (We will continue to ad updates as information becomes available.)

UPDATE – 12:05pm: Incident commanders say crews will be at the scene at least over night and possibly the next few days, as the building is still too dangerous to enter to make sure the fire is fully extinguished. The State Fire Marshal and Oregon State Police are on scene to investigate the cause. Baker County Emergency Management says they are bringing in mobile air quality monitors to check the air quality of buildings near the building, including Baker Middle School.

UPDATE – 11:20am: The Baker School Disitrict says all schools will be closing two hours early today, that includes Head Start classes at the Baker Early Learning Center. Please follow regular pick-up procedures at your school.

All extracurricular activities, including athletics, are canceled.

Baker Middle School will also remain closed tomorrow.

UPDATE – 10:40AM: The Baker County Courthouse is closing for the remainder of Wednesday, May 22, 2024, due to air quality concerns. Today’s fire at the Central Building, located two blocks west of the Baker County Courthouse, is generating significant smoke that has penetrated the courthouse and the Juvenile Department. The County Courthouse, including the Baker County Circuit Court, and the Juvenile Department is closing for the remainder of the day out of concern for the visiting public and County employees. The Baker County Courthouse is expected to reopen tomorrow, Thursday May 23, 2024, at 8:00 AM.

UPDATE – 9:45am: The Baker County Health Department says individuals with health related issues should avoid the area due to smoke and people in the immediate area of the fire should try to limit their physical activity.

UPDATE – 9:30am: Incident commanders tell Elkhorn Media Group that they expect to be at the scene all day to make sure the fire’s out, then mopping up. They say they suspect the fire started at the southwest side of the building near 6th & Court, then rapidly spread.

UPDATE- 9:05am: Baker City Public Works will be closing a portion of Broadway Street (Highway 30) between the intersections at 4th street and 7th street. Use an alternate route and watch for emergency vehicles.

UPDATE – 8:55am: Part of the roof has collapsed. Crews from La Grande are at the scene to assist and crews from Ontario have also been called to help battle the blaze.

Multiple crews are at the scene of a fire at the Central Building in Baker City. The building is located next to the current middle school on 5th & Washington St.

Thick smoke is pouring out of the roof and visible flames can also be seen from the south side of the building and roof.

Elkhorn Media Group saw at least one person being treated by medics at the scene, but no other injuries are being reported.

The building was built in 1916 and was formerly the old Baker High School. It has been shut down since the 2000’s.

Streets surrounding the building are closed, so please avoid the area if you can.

The Baker School District sent this message:

Due to the fire at the Central Building, BMS classes are cancelled for the day, and BMS students on buses are being routed to an off-site location to be reunited with parents/guardians. If you have a BMS student on a bus, please wait for further instructions. Classes at other schools as usual.

Photos from Jace Svaty