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‘Enough is enough,’ says fire official about fires at former Reliable Steel building

Olympia Fire Dept. dismantles parts of vacant Reliable Steel

Olympia Fire Department crews work Tuesday remove 12-foot high metal siding sections from the former Reliable Steel building located along West bay Drive in on Tuesday in an effort to discourage transient camping.
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Olympia Fire Department crews work Tuesday remove 12-foot high metal siding sections from the former Reliable Steel building located along West bay Drive in on Tuesday in an effort to discourage transient camping.

After Olympia fire crews responded to a fire at the former Reliable Steel building last month, Olympia Assistant Fire Chief Rob Bradley decided something needed to be done to prevent future fires.

That’s because it was the fourth fire at the West Bay Drive location since September.

“Enough is enough,” said Bradley Tuesday, recalling his reaction after being called back to the site last month.

“Let’s deal with this,” he said.

So on Tuesday, Olympia fire crews and city of Olympia officials began removing 12-foot sections from the walls of two buildings at that address. By removing wall sections, the fire department and the city hope to deter homeless people from starting fires inside the structure to stay warm or cook, Bradley said.

A property owner representative also was on site Tuesday. In addition to fires, Alex Vo of Drogba LLC said the owners have reported incidences of “breaking and entering” over the years.

“We’re thankful that they are here,” said Vo about Tuesday’s work.

Bradley had about seven firefighters at the scene and expected to finish the work Tuesday.

The West Bay Drive site was originally developed as a lumber mill, and from 1941 to 2009 it was used for boat building, steel fabrication and welding.

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