Where There’s Smoke
Wed, 03/31/2021 - 2:11pm admin
Smoke Reported at Downtown Building Prompts Major Response
Amanda Mendez, publisher
East Main St. was closed for over an hour on March 25 to create a firefighters’ work area. Willow Springs Fire Department was responding to a report of smoke coming from a building on the north side of the street near the four-way stop.
Because of the densely packed old buildings in the downtown area, Interim Fire Chief Vance Farmer elected to respond with all the resources his department could possibly need.
“If we have a fire there, it’s going to be an issue,” he explained.
Eleven Point Rural Fire Department is an automatic aid for most of WSFD’s calls, and Mountain View and Pomona Fire Departments were on their way to assist as well.
Once on the scene, firefighters did not observe any fire or smoke outside the reported address. Three firefighters entered the building to inspect for damage, said Chief Farmer, but there was no fire or smoke inside. They made contact with the building owner’s son and learned there is a wire from a now-removed lighted sign on the business front. Electricity that had been previously disconnected to the address for safety was reactivated to aid in further investigation. A thermal imaging camera did not show any hot spots in the walls.
However, the exposed wire that protruded to the exterior of the building was live. Chief Farmer believes the live electricity in the day’s rainy conditions produced sparks and the wisps of smoke that were reported. The building owners disconnected the breaker to the wire pending the services of an electrician to prevent further issues.