REDMOND, OR -- The Redmond Airport was evacuated, early Thursday morning, when employees reported smoke and a strong electrical smell in the building. KBND Financial expert Troy Reinhart was ready to board a plane with his family. He tells KBND News, "You could smell a very active electrical smell. My daughter smelled it first and I told her it was just jet fuel smell. Pretty soon all the alarms went off; and after the alarms went off for a couple minutes, they evacuated the airport and we’re standing outside looking in. So, everybody’s going to have to go through security again to get on their plane."
Fire crews responded at about 6 a.m. Reinhart says about 80 passengers were sent outside while emergency crews investigated, "There’s lots of people standing next to me that are going to Mexico, and they’re standing in their shorts and short sleeves, so they’re particularly cold."
According to dispatch, a police officer traced the smoke back to a dishwasher in the upstairs restaurant.
UPDATE: When firefighters arrived at the airport, they were notified that Redmond Police and Airport Operations staff had located a small fire in the Avalon Air Club on the second floor, on the secured side of the terminal. Fire officials say airport staff used a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze prior to fire crews' arrival. They confirmed it was out and, once smoke was cleared from the building, passengers were allowed back in the building and proceeded through security.
Fire investigators later found what appeared to be combustible materials that had dropped between a dishwasher and the will, which had ignited. There were no injuries, but the fire did cause about $16,000 in damage.