Fire quelled in downtown’s Metropolitan Building, cause is being investigated

A two-alarm fire hit the third floor of the Metropolitan Building in downtown Salem on Friday, March 17.

Firefighters from the Salem Fire Department responded to the report of a commercial fire at 6:15 p.m. and called for a second alarm after seeing smoke coming from the third floor. The four-story building at 160 Liberty St. N.E. has 33 living units, according to web apartment listings.

Deputy Fire Chief Brian Carrara reported by email that the fire was contained in 30 minutes. He said the fire spread to one occupied apartment but no injuries were reported.

The fire agency dispatch seven engines, two ladder trucks and one air truck to fire. Crews cleared the scene by 9 p.m.

Carrara said the cost of the estimated damage hadn’t been calculated yet and the cause was being investigated.

Marion County assessor’s records show the building was bought in 2021 by Jet Set Commercial LLC, a real estate holding in Morgan Hill, Calif.

Salem firefighters work to extinguish a fire on the third floor of Metropolitan Building in downtown Salem on Friday, March 17. The cause is under investigation. (TC Black photo)

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Les Zaitz is editor and CEO of Salem Reporter. He co-founded the news organization in 2018. He has been a journalist in Oregon for nearly 50 years in both daily and community newspapers and digital news services. He is nationally recognized for his commitment to local journalism. He also is editor and publisher of the Malheur Enterprise in Vale, Oregon.