PENDLETON- Staff at Keystone RV are working this morning to clean up after a small fire that left extensive smoke and water damage on a routing table Thursday night.

Pendleton Fire crews were alerted to a sprinkler alarm at Keystone, 3000 Westgate, at around 7:15 p.m., said Fire Marshal Jack Remillard. When the two engines arrived, firefighters found that smoke was coming from the production area of the building and three sprinkler heads had been activated.

Remillard said firefighters found flames coming from a router table. Shavings from wood chips had fallen from the router into a box below, which is supposed to be emptied at the end of each day.

"I'm not sure how, but this one got missed," Remillard said.

Remillard suspects the fire started when one of the spinning router blades struck a metal guide on the router, causing a spark, which likely fell into the pile of wood chips and smoldered.

Similar fires have started at Fleetwood RV twice before, Remillard noted.

While the fire itself was small, the smoke and water damage is "extensive," Remillard said, noting that he estimates damages may cost "thousands of dollars."

"That sprinkler system probably saved 300 people their jobs," Remillard said. "Had the sprinkler system not worked, that fire could have been a lot worse."

The building where the fire took place manufactures Cougar, Springdale and Tail-gator model RVs and sport utility trailers. Keystone officials did not return calls this morning.

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