O So Kleen catches fire

Smoke billows out of a vent Saturday morning as nearly two dozen firefighters from Hermiston and Stanfield gain control of a fire at O So Kleen Cleaning & Restoration in Hermiston. <i>Staff photo by Tammy Malgesini</i>

Nearly two dozen firefighters from the Hermiston and Stanfield fire departments responded to a blaze Saturday morning at a Hermiston business that specializes in water and fire damage restoration.

Scott and Becky Wadekamper, owners of O So Kleen Cleaning & Restoration, said no one was at the business, located at 905 E. Diagonal Boulevard, when the fire started in the southeast corner of the building.

Hermiston Fire Department Captain Jeff Adkins, who acted as the incident commander, said firefighters entered both ends of the building, after being dispatched around 8:30 a.m., to make sure the fire hadn't spread to the west end.

"We were hitting it with hand lines and then we overhauled it from above with our ladder truck," he said.

Adkins said firefighters made sure the fire was extinguished as they cut away burnt roofing materials.

The Hermiston couple is uncertain how the damage would impact their business.

"We just don't know how it will interfere with all the business stuff," Becky Wadekamper said.

"I don't know if we'll be able to get back into this building right away. I don't know if we'll have to get a temporary building," her husband added.

Four of the company's service vehicles were in the back bay area where the blaze started.

"They're around $60,000 each - loaded. I don't know how much damage they sustained," Scott Wadekamper said.

When the Wadekampers arrived, they were told not to enter the building.

"Some of the trusses are bowed and if one goes it could all come down," Scott Wadekamper said.

Hermiston Fire Captain Pat Hart reiterated when dealing with bowed trusses, it can be a matter of minutes when a situation can become unsafe.

"You need to investigate to have a better idea of what condition it's in," he explained. "We can't send our guys in - it's just unsafe."

Scott was fairly certain the company's computer system was salvaged, so the business still has client data.

"We'll get our phone system up and going and go from there," he said optimistically.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation and Adkins was uncertain regarding estimated damages.

"We'll let the insurance adjuster handle that," he said.

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