At approximately 8:55 AM yesterday, emergency response teams rushed to quell an electrical fire at a modular office space on Pax. Employees at the site reported “smoke in the building,” sparking an immediate alert to Pax Fire and Rescue Units. The issue intensified when District Chief 13, the first respondent, detected a strong smell of smoke and noted visible smoke emission from the ceiling ventilation. He promptly requested the structure fire assignment, leading to a swift response from neighboring mutual aid departments.
Upon arrival at the scene, crews found visible smoke wafting through the open windows of the trailer. As the intensity of the smoke increased, it became clear the source was more than a minor issue. Engine 132 and Truck 13, part of the initial response team, meticulously searched for the fire’s origin. Their efforts included pulling down drop-ceiling tiles and insulation to uncover any hidden pockets of fire.
While their colleagues worked inside, the crew of Truck 13 took to the roof, cutting investigative holes to determine the fire’s reach and potential spread. Their efforts proved fruitful as they discovered a visibly discolored and unusually hot portion of aluminum situated directly below an in-wall air conditioning unit on side Charlie of the structure.
After further inspection, they identified the source of the fire: active electrical flames inside the wall adjacent to the air conditioning unit. With the fire’s origin located, the next step was to secure power at the breaker to prevent any further fire spread or electrical shock risk to the crews. Once the power was secured, the crews swiftly extinguished the fire. Their quick action led to the successful suppression of the small fire.
Following the suppression, crews shifted their focus to fire containment, preventing fire spread to other parts of the structure. They meticulously checked for fire extension within the walls, roof, and crawlspace. It was crucial to ensure that no residual fire or embers were left that could potentially reignite.
While the initial report of smoke might have hinted at a minor issue, the reality was a potentially dangerous electrical fire. The swift response and coordinated efforts of Pax Fire and Rescue Units, along with the aid from neighboring departments, helped prevent what could have been a catastrophic event.
The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of fire safety measures in both residential and commercial buildings. Regular inspections, smoke detectors, and appropriate fire suppression equipment can significantly prevent small incidents from escalating into major disasters.
As investigations continue into the incident, officials will aim to determine if any fire safety measures were overlooked in this particular modular office space. Moreover, the incident will likely prompt a broader review of fire safety protocols within similar structures in the area.
For Pax and its surrounding communities, the successful containment of this fire stands as a testament to the readiness and effectiveness of their emergency response teams.