Fire Damages East Side Building; Cause Under Investigation
Firefighters responded to an east side business after a 911 caller discovered a fire along the outside wall.
The witness told firefighters he thought he smelled something burning but didn’t think anything of it at first. He later smelled it again and stepped outside to take a look. That’s when he saw flames along the exterior wall of the building, located at 4709 Helgesen Drive. He also found a garbage can on fire, which he pulled away from the building and doused with buckets of water.
Engine Company 5 and other MFD crews responded, finding smoke coming from one side of the multi-unit commercial structure. Engine 5 pulled a hose line and extinguished the fire along the exterior wall but found more active flames inside the wall after peeling away the metal siding. That fire was also knocked down quickly.
Firefighters needed to get inside to investigate whether there was fire on the other side of the wall, but a vehicle parked too close to the service door of the unit made it impossible to get in without forcing entry. Someone was able to move the vehicle before Ladder Company 8 had to take such measures. Once inside, firefighters found the building charged with smoke but there was no active fire. Ladder Company 6 also confirmed there was no fire extension to the attic or to nearby property, including parked vehicles.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Damage is currently estimated at around $15,000.
Cynthia Schuster (Public Information Officer)