A commercial building used by a cabinet company caught fire on Tacomas Tideflats Monday afternoon.
Crews were called to the 1800 block of East D Street at 3:10 p.m., and used thermal imaging to find the fire in the duct system of Valley Line Cabinets, according to the Tacoma Fire Department.
No one was injured. After workers were evacuated safely, they helped explain the buildings dimensions and systems to emergency crews, fire officials said.
The flames spread to a roughly 35-foot tall hopper, which holds sawdust transported through the ducts, according to the fire department.
Crews at one point were worried the hopper, which was tilting slightly, might collapse, and they evacuated a building next door.
Firefighters said the thermal imaging cameras showed the blaze was out Monday evening, but they planned to monitor the scene overnight in case the flames rekindled.
The cause of the fire was still being investigated, but likely was due to a buildup of sawdust and lack of maintenance in the duct system, fire officials said.
Damage was mostly isolated to the ducts and hopper, they said.
Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268