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It looked like a fire, and the fire department at first thought it was a fire, but it wasn't

DAVID F. ASHTON - Firefighters discovered that the plume rising from the roof wasnt smoke, it was steam - due to a burst steam pipe inside the Precision Castparts Structurals plant on S.E. Johnson Creek Boulevard. In the end, there were no injuries, no real damage, and no fire. S.E. Johnson Creek Boulevard was closed off at Harney Drive, clogged with fire apparatus in the street, on Sunday morning, January 7.

Neighbors looked on quizzically, and people at a nearby restaurant came out, as fire rigs pulled into the "Precision Castparts Structurals" plant.

Portland Fire & Rescue (PP&R) and Clackamas Fire District #1 crews had been dispatched to the plant at 8:59 a.m., and upon arriving reported seeing what the bystanders pointed out – volumes of what appeared to be white smoke billowing off the roof near the west end.

The Westmoreland Fire Station's Engine 20 was first to arrive, followed by units from Lents, Mill Park – and University Park, across the Willamette River.

Crews from Woodstock's Truck 25 extended A ladder, and firefighters climbed up onto the roof to investigate, while their colleagues went inside the plant.

Interestingly, crews didn't hook up water lines to fight a fire at that time; firefighters outside watched and waited.

Then, word came via the PF&R Twitter account: "Broken steam pipe leaking water creating an electrical hazard; crews fixing." No fire; the crowds dispersed; and the firefighters returned to their respective stations to await their next call.

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