Marcus Larson/News-Register
Marcus Larson/News-Register
Rusty Rae/News-Register
Rusty Rae/News-Register

Fire engulfs apartment building south of downtown McMinnville


Multiple fire agencies responded to a two-alarm fire Monday afternoon at the Baker Street Apartments, 429 S.E. Baker Street, just behind St Vincent de Paul. 

Flames could be seen burning out the top of the two-story building as smoke billowed through downtown just a few blocks away.

All occupants were safely evacuated, according to McMinnville Fire Chief Rich Leipfert. One individual was removed by firefighters but not hospitalized, he said.

Multiple witnesses say they saw McMinnville police officers enter the building before fire crews arrived.

The American Red Cross is assisting evacuated residents.

Equipment and personnel from throughout the county responded. No firefighter injuries were reported, according to the chief..

No cause has been determined, Leipfert said.

Both sides of Highway 99W -- Adams and Baker streets -- are closed as traffic is being rerouted through town. It's unknown how long the detour will be in place, as firefighters are expected to be at the scene into the evening hours.




God bless the police officers and fire fighters. First on the scene and willing to risk their lives for us, the common citizen. Thank you.


They are also common citizens.


How can we help? Is anyone or any organization collecting money or donations?


This breaks my heart. I lived there at one time. My best friend was still living there. She lived there for 10 years. 10 years if her life is completely gone. My heart goes out to her and the other residents too.


Anyone who reads this needs to know that the reason Police Officers were assisting the Fire Fighters is because Engine 1 was on a medical call outside city limits. The Medics who assisted/rescued the person on the second floor had assistance from the police as there were no other fire fighters on scene, only chiefs etc.
This could have gone very wrong & a civilian and the fire fighters could have lost their lives. Our Fire Department is severely understaffed & our City Council & Mayor are fully aware of the situation.
Pretty much every day mutual aid is needed from surrounding agencies due to the high medical call volume and the lack of adequate staff.
Read the Instagram post from McMinnville Fire about yesterday’s fire & then you will know what actually happened on scene. Wake up McMinnville before someone loses their life! Why do you think the Fire Fighters Union backed Heidi Parker instead of our current Mayor? Because he & the city council know the fire department is understaffed & refuse to help do anything about it. It is just a matter of time before this department is no longer staffed by paid staff & volunteers. It needs to be completely paid staff & that won’t happen as their isn’t funding to pay for paid staff. It’s just a matter of time before an out of area agency takes over McMinnville Fire just like Newberg.


The lives of our citizens, Police Officers, and two Medics were needlessly placed in danger because the fire department is inappropriately staffed.

It took 20 minutes to get a volunteer team of Fire Fighters on-scene one block from the fire department.

There were two people assigned to Engine 1 assisting on a medical call when the fire broke out. This isn't even enough to operate the Engine should it be needed for a fire.

Someone needs to be held accountable for jeopardizing the lives of our first responders and the citizens inside the building.

Fund Mac FD properly and do so immediately.

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