Shed ignites in summer heat

Fire officials discovered the source

of the fire but are still searching

for what caused it

Photo by Christian Knight

Odell Chief Greg Borton wanted sprinklers

on the burn site to keep it cool.

By RAELYNN RICARTE

News staff writer

July 20, 2005

Odell firefighters braved the summer heat on Sunday afternoon but were unable to stop an aged storage building from burning to the ground.

“I believe there were some definite accelerants inside the building to make it burn so hot and fast,” said Fire Chief Greg Borton.

The blaze at 3754 Central Vale Road was reported shortly before 5 p.m. by Sheriff Deputy Chris Guertin. He had been patrolling the area when he noticed that smoke was pouring from the 30-by-30-foot structure. By the time that he could call for help — and the few minutes it took for the first engine to arrive — the building was fully engulfed in flames.

Borton said the unoccupied shed was between 70-80 years old and packed with flammables and old appliances. Although his crew, joined by Pine Grove and West Side fire departments, battled for more than one hour they were unable to prevent its destruction. Borton was told by Ricky Parker, the owner, that the building was uninsured because of its age.

“It was real dry wood so when the fire started it burned extremely fast,” Borton said.

With the outside temperature at more than 90 degrees, Borton made sure his firefighters drank plenty of fluids while they worked to keep the flames contained. At the end of the day, only the metal roof and the singed remains of a few appliances remained.

Borton and Jim Trammell, West Side Fire Marshall, looked over the charred ruins on Monday morning. They determined that the fire had started in the southwestern corner of the building but were unable to locate an ignition source.

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