Tahlequah Daily Press

December 10, 2013

Source of storage facility blaze mulled

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Tahlequah firefighters are trying to determine the cause of a blaze that damaged several units of a storage facility Sunday night.

Fire Chief Ray Hammons said the department is investigating several possibilities.

“One of the things we believe may have happened is that there was either mischief involved, or it possibly could have been a transient there trying to keep warm,” Hammons said.

Neighbors reported the fire, near West Choctaw and Moccasin, at about 6:30 p.m. after hearing a loud noise, Hammons said.

“There were two units the fire got to, and the rest were smoke damaged,” he said. “And there was also water damage. Fortunately, the two units beside the two that caught fire were empty, so there wasn’t much water damage there. But smoke damage was throughout the entire structure.”

A home on the north side of the fire also suffered some damage when the heat melted its siding.

“The guys were able to get in there and knock it down before it caught the house on fire,” Hammons said.

He estimates $30,000 in damage occurred at the storage facility.

Firefighters were on scene for several hours to ensure the blaze had been extinguished. Tahlequah police also were dispatched to the scene, and medics were on standby as firefighters battled the flames.

jnewton@tahlequahdailypress.com