Fire causes estimated $50,000 damage to Lebanon Old Town Mall

A two-alarm fire at a downtown Lebanon retail shopping center caused an estimated $50,000 in damages Saturday, Nov. 6, although responding crews from multiple agencies made quick work of the blaze, according to a Lebanon Fire District news release.

The fire in the partially occupied 7,500-square-foot Old Town Mall at 743 Main St. was first reported at about 6:15 p.m., after an employee in one of its stores heard a loud pop from a business with a common wall. When he went to investigate, he determined the noise’s source as a series of interior lights flickering and popping in the Amber Moon clothing shop. Occupants then spotted smoke in the building and called 911. Two separate businesses were evacuated, and no injuries were reported.

Arriving units described smoke filling the building’s main hallway and light smoke pushing from the roof, where it intersected with the exterior walls. The on-duty battalion chief called for a second alarm – standard procedure on a working commercial fire – to summon additional resources. Lebanon’s 25 personnel on 13 units received mutual aid from Albany, Sweet Home, Brownsville and Scio.

According to LFD division chief Jason Bolen, crews entered the building’s common hallway to determine which of its seven interiors was on fire. “Our first arriving crews did a great job of quickly locating the fire and getting it knocked down,” he said.

LFD personnel arrived on scene roughly three minutes after being dispatched. They had to force entry into the building and make their way down its smoke-filled hallway to find the seat of the fire within an interior retail store. After extinguishing it, they transitioned to overhaul mode, checking for extension of fire and burning hot spots. None were found, and multiple positive pressure fans cleared the remaining smoke.

Personnel remained at the scene for more than two hours. No injuries were reported.

The Lebanon Fire Investigation Team – which consists of career and volunteer firefighters, plus specially trained Lebanon Police Department officers – is currently working to determine the cause of the blaze. Due to the building’s age, there were no requirements for automatic fire sprinklers or commercial fire alarm systems, which Bolen noted likely could have helped reduce the damage significantly.