Storage fire does $80,000 in damage
Investigators consider arson as possible cause
December 23, 2002
A fire at a School Street storage building caused as much as $80,000 worth of damage, while Craig police are looking into its cause.
“It’s under investigation,” said Storm Fallon, detective with the Craig Police Department.
Fallon declined comment on the progress with the case or whether arson was suspected.
Roy Mason, chief of the Craig Rural Fire Protection District, said Craig police were called when two possible points of origin for the fire were found in the structure at 340 School Street.
Police also scrutinized information from the facility’s employees. Some allegedly told fire investigators they thought “something smelled funny” in the area prior to the lunch hour, but didn’t pass on the information, according to Mason.
The cause remains unknown.
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“We don’t have a clue what it was,” Mason said.
Craig fire responded to the call at 12:50 p.m. at the two-story storage unit belonging to Samuelson’s True Value Hardware and Lumber Owner Mark Samuelson.
Firefighters eventually brought two engines and one rescue unit to the scene, as police shut down eastbound traffic for roughly an hour on U.S. Highway 40 from Barclay Street.
Heavy smoke poured from the building’s east garage door area and through vents on its north side.
“They went inside and couldn’t see a thing,” Mason said.
Firefighters found flames on the second story — packed with fiber insulation, vanities and vanity tops among other items — at the building’s northwest corner.
“It melted everything in the upper part of the building,” the chief added.
In order to see, Mason said firefighters had to punch two holes in the building’s roof to ventilate smoke, with the help of fans from the ground.
The thick plumes spread up and down School Street and beyond.
“You can still smell it in here,” Mae Valleem — working down the road yesterday at Intermountain Appliance — said more than an hour after the call.
Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at firstname.lastname@example.org