Fire downtown brought under control quickly

By Erin Mathews
Salina Journal – April 22, 2015

Photo by Tom Dorsey.

Photo by Tom Dorsey.


Firefighters had a fire that started in a loft apartment above Laura’s Antiques in the 100 block of South Santa Fe Avenue in downtown Salina under control within about 40 minutes Tuesday night, said Salina Fire Marshal Roger Williams.

At 11 p.m., firefighters still were on the scene.

“Upon arrival crews did find heavy fire showing from the Fifth Street side of the building,” Williams said. “We initiated a fast attack.

“We got our aerial apparatus deployed, called in a second and third alarm, and at this point (about 10:40 p.m. ) we do have the fire under control. We’re checking for hot spots and continuing with extinguishing operations.”

Williams said the fire was initially seen in a patio area of the loft apartment above Laura’s Antiques, 109 S. Santa Fe. He said it might have spread into the loft apartment above That 1 Bar, 111 S. Santa Fe, which is protected by an automatic sprinkler system.

Williams said there were no people in either loft apartment, and a small number of people in the bar were safely evacuated.

“It (the sprinkler system) did activate, and that definitely helped our operation,” Williams said.

There was smoke visible at the scene, but no flames.

The loft above Laura’s Antiques was being renovated. During that work in early March, some plaster was removed from what had been the exterior wall of 111 S. Santa Fe to reveal a sign painted on the wall from Salina’s earliest days.

The black-and-white sign was for “G. Sauer, Boots and Shoes,” a company that opened in 1870 and had closed by 1885. About 20,000 pounds of plaster was removed from the walls during renovation.

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