Arson is suspected in an early-morning fire Sunday that destroyed a garage off the “back loop” of Mendenhall Loop Road.
Capital City Fire/Rescue firefighters responded to the blaze, which started in a detached shop being used for storage in the 9000 block of Moraine Way at about 3 a.m., said Fire Marshal Dan Jager. The storage unit, which was approximately 25 by 35 feet, was fully engulfed and the nearby trees were on fire, said CCFR Assistant Fire Chief Ed Quinto.
The homeowners were awakened by their dogs to find the shop was on fire, and tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher, Quinto said in a press release. They had moved their vehicles away from the fire and were able to save them, he said. There were no injuries and the fire was extinguished in about an hour.
The contents of the building — tools, a lot of personal items, auto parts, lumber, oils and paints— were destroyed or heavily damaged, Jager said.
“There was easily over $100,000 in losses, if not more,” he said.
The cause of the fire still is being investigated but it is believed to be arson, Jager said, adding there was no obvious cause for a fire to have started in the area determined to be the starting point.
“It’s a process of elimination,” he said. “There was no electricity, no heat, no oily rags that could have spontaneously combusted, no mechanical equipment or devices.”
Jager urged anyone with information, who might have seen someone or something out of the ordinary in the area or who had photos or video of the fire, to contact his office at 586-5322.
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 523-2246 or firstname.lastname@example.org.