Downtown fire causes smoke damage, displaces residents of two apartments
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 3:02 AM
A fire in downtown Spring Valley Sunday afternoon displaced residents of two apartments, but didn't do extensive damage to the buildings.
Firefighters run a hose into the stairway to the apartment in which a fire was reported Sunday afternoon in downtown Spring Valley. The fire started in an apartment in the building just north of the former Valley Creek Outfitters. PHOTO BY DAVID PHILLIPS/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
Firefighters were called about 1:30 p.m. when someone in one of the downtown apartments could smell smoke, according to Fire Chief Chris Czapiewski. The apartment that had the fire is located above a former real estate office just north of the former Valley Creek Outfitters building.
Although the Spring Valley department had the fire controlled within an hour, departments from Grand Meadow, Wykoff and Ostrander were called in to provide manpower due to the hot and humid conditions, said Czapiewski. He explained that they had personnel monitoring the area to make sure it wouldn't spread, but they would quickly go through several people with air packs as they made their way into the building.
The fire started in an unoccupied apartment in the kitchen area, noted the fire chief. A state fire marshal was investigating on Monday to determine the cause.
The main damage from the fire was from smoke, which seeped into the three other apartments and into the Photography by Kari commercial business south of the building where the fire started.
Residents in the two occupied units of the four apartments had to relocate. The Red Cross was called to provide assistance. Czapiewski said it could take a while before they can get back in because the buildings may have to be rewired.
Natural gas and electricity were cut to the buildings during the incident. Although the other buildings on the block weren't affected, employees of the Pizza Place decided to evacuate as a precaution.
That evening, the hot and humid weather gave way to extensive rain, causing flooding to the street level buildings in the same location.