Prosser fire: meat locker destroyed, damage to police dept. is ‘extensive’

Prosser Fire Aerial Zoom
Courtesy: Tim Smith/

PROSSER, Wash. — Firefighters are providing a clearer picture of Saturday’s fire that tore through buildings in downtown Prosser.

West Benton Fire Rescue Chief Seth Johnson said early Sunday that butcher shop Underwood’s Prosser Lockers is a total loss, and the Prosser Police Department suffered “extensive damage.”

RELATED: Fire damages downtown Prosser businesses and police dept.

Additionally, Prosser City Hall has “moderate damage” and Cook’s Ace Hardware and the Masonic Temple both have smoke and water damage.

The 3-alarm fire started in the meat locker at 1221 Bennett Ave shortly before 1 p.m. Minutes later, smoke rose from the business.

Tim Smith with Rattlesnake Mountain Skydiving happened to be headed up for a jump during the fire and shared his look from above:

“A 911 call was received that reported smoke from the roof of Prosser Lockers,” Chief Johnson explained in a news release, adding that responding crews found a fire burning in the attic.

Prosser Lockers sits between Ace Hardware and the Prosser Police Department/City Hall.

“As fire units were attempting to get control of the fire, PD units were ensuring that all facilities were being evacuated and traffic was controlled in the area,” the chief said. “There are still active street closures in the area.”

Benton PUD, Benton REA, and Cascade Natural Gas helped shut off electricity and gas service so firefighters could safely get to the roofs. Ladder trucks extended high above the fire so crews could pour water onto the burning structure. Power has since been restored — except to the damaged buildings.

At 9:52 p.m., after a nearly nine-hour firefight, the fire was brought under control. WBFR crews will be on scene Sunday to “monitor the situation and check for hot spots.”

The cause of the fire is still “undetermined.” Investigators are looking into how the fire may have started.

West Benton Fire Rescue had a lot of help on this fire in historic downtown: Benton County Fire Districts 1, 2 & 4, Yakima County Fire District 5, and fire crews from the cities of Kennewick, Richland, Pasco, Grandview, Sunnyside and Toppenish all helped with mutual aid. In all, 55 firefighters worked on this fire Saturday.

No one was hurt during the fire.