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Main Street fire redirects traffic

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SMOKE RISES from the roof of a structure at 617 Main Street after the fire broke out. Damage was limited to the roof and upper level. Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum

From page A1 | March 18, 2013 | 1 Comment

El Dorado County Fire crews responded to a structure fire Wednesday afternoon on Main Street in Placerville, closing off the street while fighting the fire.

Although the initial report at 3:12 p.m. was that The Independent Restaurant and Bar was the building on fire, it was soon proven to be the adjacent building at 617 Main Street, Battalion Chief and Fire Marshal Mike Pott said. The fire was on the roof of the partly-vacant building, which houses a dance studio, an empty area for another business, and three apartments upstairs; one apartment was occupied, one was recently vacant and one was acting as storage for the property manager.

The report was made by Ben Carter, co-owner of The Independent. “The flames were shooting out the top,” of the building he said. “They were 10-foot flames at the roof.”

While crews were responding, an off-duty firefighter happened to be walking by, Pott said. He entered the building and evacuated the upstairs tenant and his dog, unsure of whether the attic was on fire or just the roof.

The fire was out within five minutes of responding, Pott said. But, it was hard to verify whether the attic or any other rooms had hidden fires, he said, as there were “so many different areas we had to look.” But the fire itself “went down quick.” By 3:55 p.m., all rooms had been searched and the fire was officially contained with no injuries.

The fire itself only affected a designated smoking area on the roof, Pott said. There was a table and chairs set up. The cause is undetermined, but it was human-caused. The question, Pott said, is whether it was intentional. “We can’t rule out smoking or it being malicious,” he said. Although the property manager, the tenant, local businesses and passerby were questioned, there was no answer.

El Dorado County Fire responded to the small blaze with Diamond Springs Fire and Cal Fire, with Placerville Police and El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputies providing assistance and traffic control.

Contact Cole Mayer at 530-344-5068 or Follow @CMayerMtDemo. 


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