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Commercial Structure Fire

posted Aug 23, 2011, 2:27 PM by Jeremiah Smith   [ updated Aug 23, 2011, 2:32 PM ]

On Saturday July 30 at 02:07 hrs Ranger VFD along with Murphy and Bellview VFD were dispatched to a reported structure fire at 100 Blairsville HWY.


Upon arrival crews found a 44,000 sq.ft. structure well off and the fire moving very fast. The initial alarm brought 5 engines, 1 ladder, and 4 tankers. The closest hydrant was only capable of flowing 620 gpm and Chief Frank Mariano quickly realized that this was insufficient and requested 5 more departments bringing another 4 engines and 10 tankers. Two fill sites were established, one at a hydrant at the Georgia state line and another fill site at Ranger Fire Department using Nottley River as a source and two engines to fill tankers at a combined 1220 gpm.


The structure was originally constructed as an open air flea market using lightweight trusses and had a metal roof. Since its original construction several additions had been added along with walls to make it a fully enclosed building. There were a wide variety of vendors that had shops setup there that sold everything from clothes and books to guns and ammunition. Due to the construction and fire load interior operations were not allowed. At approximately 04:00 the entire structure was on the ground.


Two master streams were utilized first while the ladder was being positioned and setup. Once the ladder was setup and the tanker shuttles were going the ladder was able to flow between 1200 and 1500 gpm till around 07:00hrs when it was determined that the ladder was no longer needed. Flow was reduced to around 500 gpm using one master stream to continue to cool several propane tanks.


Two other engines used master streams to cool 4 250 gallon propane tanks on opposite sides of the structure. The engine on the south side was supplied by the tanker shuttle from the Georgia line while the west engine was supplied with tankers from the fill site at RVFD.


During overhaul operations, crews found 15 20lb propane cylinders and 4 250 gallon propane tanks.


The SBI assisted the Fire Marshall's office in the investigation in which no cause could be determined.


Crews remained on scene for most of the day Saturday and Sunday controlling flare ups and hitting hot spots.


Ranger VFD would like to thank Murphy VFD, Bellview VFD, Hiwassee Dam VFD, Wolfe Creek VFD, Culberson VFD, Peachtree VFD, Union County Fire Department, Cherokee County Rescue Squad, Cherokee County EMS, Cherokee County Sheriff Office, NC State Highway Patrol, NCDOT, and American Red Cross for their assistance with this incident








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