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|UPDATED: Cause of People's Do-it Center Fire is Electrical-related
|A Galesburg Fire Investigator is now confirming the cause to Saturday's huge fire at People's Do-it Center was electrically motivated.
Firefighter Brock Schmidt initially told the WGIL Morning News yesterday investigators had not yet found a cause of the weekend fire that destroyed the lumber warehouse on East Berrien Street around noon Saturday.
However, investigator Mike Whitson confirmed Friday morning that preliminary investigations have revealed the cause to be accidental and electrical-related. He says a housekeeping issue with a buildup of sawdust in the lumber yard most likely ignited the blaze near an electrical outlet and junction box.
This affirms Schmidt's initial suspicions he shared Thursday on the WGIL Morning News.
"We've met and interviewed everyone that worked there, and did a pretty thorough investigation of the scene," he said Thursday. "To us it's looking like the fire started back in that southeast corner of that building, which would have been where the saw was located where they did most of their wood cutting."
"We've had a large amount of sawdust that was still there on the floor there and throughout all the materials-- electrical (open) juncture outlets there and stuff in that area."
Schmidt says investigators worried other items like tar could have caused the fire. Whitson though says the department is now confident it was indeed related to the electrical hazards present in the southeast corner of the lumber warehouse.
As for fighting the blaze Saturday, Schmidt says the main objective for crews for such a big fire was to make sure other structures like it wouldn't be set on fire. Firefighters remained on the scene several more hours into the evening for overhaul purposes after it was controlled within ninety minutes.
People's Do-it Center is open once again after power was cut during the fire. Thursday, the store put a full page ad in the newspaper thanking everyone for their help and support.
|05 03 12 by Newsroom
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