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Chemicals And Heat Could Have Caused Garage Fire

Last updated on Friday, October 18, 2013

(PEERLESS) - The cause of a garage fire Monday morning could have started one of several ways.

According to Marshall Volunteer Fire Chief Chad Hayes, the state fire marshal was able to determine the fire started in the rear main part of the garage at 3607 Peerless Road, but it could have ignited from one of several scenarios.

According to Hayes, investigators were able to determine the fire started near a lathe that was being refinished.

There was a bucket of rags soaked with mineral spirits that could have spontaneously combusted, or it could have started from several clip lamps that were shining on the lathe that was covered with a tarp and heated the mineral springs and caught the tarp on fire.

"Investigators were not able to determine the exact cause, but we were able to rule out it was not electrical or caused by any of the vehicles parked in the garage," Hayes says.

When firefighters from Marshall, Shawswick, Oolitic and Perry VFDs and TOPES arrived at the home of Bryan and Jenny Smith around 3:30 a.m. Monday the garage was engulfed in flames.

Hayes says firefighters went into defense mode and began containing the fire and spraying the home to prevent the fire from spreading.

"Not only did they lose the contents of the garage, the family lost four vehicles [including] a 2007 Chevy HHR, a 1996 GMC truck, a 2004 Yamaha motorcycle and a 2007 Toyota Tacoma pickup," Hayes says. "They were able to save one vehicle that was parked outside in front of the garage."

The family dog alerted the couple to the blaze. The family was sleeping when the dog wanted out. Jenny let the dog out and heard the air compressor running and thought that was odd so she alerted her husband.

Bryan went to investigate and found smoke bellowing out the back of the garage. The fire had blown the garage door off.

Bryan is a machinist and had several pieces of equipment and hundreds of tools in the garage.

Firefighters had to close the road while they battled the blaze and were on the scene until around 10 a.m.

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