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Maple Terrace fire

Longview firefighters keep watch on the perimeter and wait to move in to mop up the remains as the first of two Maple Terrace apartment buildings burn to the ground Aug. 13.

Firefighters patrol the perimeter as half of the Maple Terrace Apartments burned Saturday in a training exercise.

Crews from the Longview and Woodland fire departments and Columbia River Fire & Rescue in Rainier participated in the training, which included interior fire fighting and a larger, fully-involved structure fire later in the afternoon.

More than 100 people gathered to watch the blaze, which had been announced in advance, but the word didn't get out to everyone: Dozens of calls came into 911 as the black smoke blew east across Longview and into parts of Kelso.

The remaining apartment building will be burned Saturday, Aug. 20, starting at 8 a.m. and lasting through the afternoon. The buildings are being removed and the land will be used a new parking lot for Lower Columbia College.

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