Monday, 05 February 2018 14:13

Elite Auto Body in Orange City, IA, Sustains Fire Damage

Written by Staff, KIWA Radio

A business building housing an auto body shop was damaged in a fire on Tuesday, Jan. 30 in Orange City, IA.


According to Orange City Fire Chief Denny Vander Wel, about 5 p.m., the Orange City Fire Department was called to the report of a structure fire at Elite Auto Body and Digital Plus- US Cellular on Highway 10 West.


The chief said the fire department saw heavy smoke from the outside as they approached the scene. He said people who noticed the fire tried to put it out with dry chemical extinguishers.


Vander Wel said firefighters also initially used dry chemical extinguishers because it was a metal building and there was an obvious electrical short going on. He said that once the utility department shut off the power, they switched to a water extinguisher. He said they also used a Sawzall to cut out part of the building that had been burning so it wouldn’t reignite. He said the fire and smoke were limited to the outside of the building and inside the wall. He said there was no fire or smoke damage to the inside and the black smoke was caused by burning vinyl siding.


Vander Wel said no injuries were reported.


The fire department was assisted by the Alton Fire Department. Vander Wel said they did ask for Sioux Center’s RIT team to come to the fire, but firefighters had the fire out before they got there, so they were told to turn around. Vander Wel said the RIT team is basically a team to rescue firefighters in an emergency situation, and that he had called them as a precaution.


He said the cause of the fire appeared to be an electrical short in the meter base.


Chief Vander Wel reported that there was moderate damage. He figured the exterior damage at around $20,000, but the electrical equipment plugged in may be damaged, so that figure could go up quickly.


He said they used minimal water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene for about an hour.


We thank KIWA Radio for reprint permission.