Fire destroys Hebbs Cross garage


No one was hurt, but a pile of burning garbage spread to a garage and destroyed the single-storey building.

Emergency crews were sent around 9:30 a.m., January 16, to a Camperdown Road address in Hebbs Cross where the structure was already engulfed in flames.

"When they were burning was legal, where they were burning was unwise, and what they were burning should not have been," Wendell Eisener, a training officer and spokesman for the Hebbs Cross volunteer fire department, explained to LighthouseNOW.

Paint cans were among materials being burned on the ground before the fire took off to the garage, Eisener indicated, adding the six-by-nine-metre garage appeared to have been used in the past for woodworking purposes.

"When I popped the bay doors open, it was one ball of flame from floor to ceiling," he said.

Volunteer fire departments from Lapland, Hebbville and Bridgewater assisted Hebbs Cross first responders at the scene. Tankers and pumpers were among trucks working the incident as the area doesn't have a hydrant system. Roughly 40 firefighters helped put out the blaze.

"After we made the initial attack and got it knocked down," Eisener said of the flames, "it was very much a joint effort to get rid of the hot spots."

There was also "judicious use of the thermal imaging cameras," he noted. "I think we had three of them on the go at one point."

Thermal imaging technology capacity in the fire service is more commonplace these days as responders can be trained to use devices to find heat signatures in dark, hazardous environments.

First responders remained on scene until about 11:30 a.m.

Eisener didn't know if the building, which is a total loss, had insurance coverage. An outbuilding nearby sustained "a little bit of scorching" but there was no other damage, he said.

The cause of the fire is classified as accidental in nature.

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