Morning fire disrupts local business

By Jason E. Silvers
Fort Scott Tribune – January 7, 2017
Submitted by Newz Group – January 19, 2017


The Fort Scott Fire Department is looking into the cause of a Friday morning fire at a local auto shop.

Fort Scott firefighters received a call about 9:15 a.m. for a structure fire at Pearson’s 54 & 69 Tire and Service in the 1600 block of East Wall Street. Fort Scott Fire Chief Paul Ballou said the fire apparently started in the upper part of the rear portion of the building.

“When we got there, there was a lot of smoke coming out of the big door to the shop area, on the alley side on the north end of the building,” Ballou said.

Ballou said Friday afternoon the fire was reported as “a lot of smoke,” and when firefighters entered the building they found flames in the attic area. Deputy Fire Chief Dave Bruner planned to investigate the fire Friday, Ballou said.

“They’re still looking at it right now,” Ballou said. “They pretty much got it out but we’ll keep an eye on it today.”

Ballou said fire officials had not yet determined a cause of the fire but were “investigating it as an accident.”

“Just mainly the attic area was damaged,” he said.

Bruner said he did not have an exact estimated of damages, but described the overall damage as “moderate.” He said there was some water damage inside the shop and an attached apartment behind the shop, and some tires in the loft area of the shop sustained some damage.

Ballou said the fire department was in contact with the Red Cross to find temporary living arrangements for a couple of people who had been using a building attached to the shop as a living area.

“On the west side of that building, there’s a sleeping area there. A living area like a house,” he said. “The fire was in the back, above the office area. We were trying to get with the Red Cross.”

The FSFD responded with two trucks and about 10-11 firefighters, Ballou said.

“We also had public works come over to get tires out that were burning,” he said.

Firefighters were on scene about 20-25 minutes and personnel remained on scene for about an hour and a half checking the area. Ballou said the report on the fire was not complete.

The Fort Scott Police Department responded to block off a portion of Wall Street and detour traffic on Wall Street around the fire scene.

Ballou said he was not certain if the fire had an impact on operations at the auto shop.


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