A demolition crew Thursday finished up the first phase of building a new Newport branch of Umpqua Bank by demolishing the burned remains of the old one. All that remains of the old bank is a clean concrete slab, and a few signs that there was a fire last week. And it was quite a fire that leveled the old building in about a half hour after high winds picked up and fanned the sparks of an electrical short that was traced to the south wall ATM Room. With 45 to 60 mile an hour winds, there wasn’t much Newport fire fighters could do but to pull back, prevent the fire from damaging any surrounding properties and just let the fire consume the building.
Umpqua Bank immediately moved into a vacant bank building on SW 11th, just west of Highway 101. Bank Vice President Doug Hunt says they took out a year lease on it because they believe it will take that long to design and build a new bank on the site at 1250 No. Coast Highway. No word yet on what the sticker price might add up to be.