Firefighters put out small fire at south Topeka car dealership

By Eric Smith
Topeka Capital Journal – December 23, 2013

topeka fire 12232013

Firefighters dealt with a small fire and its remnants that was caused by a malfunction to an oil-burning furnace for more than an hour Sunday evening at a south Topeka car dealership, a fire official said.

Capt. Daniel Macke said first responders received a report of a fire coming out of a chimney around 7:45 p.m. at Doug Richert Cadillac, 1900 S.W. Topeka Blvd. A man clearing an adjacent lot of snow saw the flames.

Firefighters arrived to flames coming from the roof in the back of the building and were able to put out the larger fire from the furnace quickly, Macke said. However, a smaller fire continued to burn in a barrel inside the furnace, sending dark smoke out through a pipe in the roof for more than an hour.

“They couldn’t use water because it could spray out and catch other things,” Macke said, adding dry chemical and carbon monoxide was used to put out the smaller fire.

No structural damage was done, the fire official said, but there was damage to the furnace, as well as some smoke damage to the inside of the building.

“We don’t even know what caused the malfunction,” Macke said. “We’re just really lucky.”

The furnace, which is used to heat the building, is fueled by used auto oil.

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