Fire Breaks Out in 2nd Floor Garage Office

Botsford firefighters and personnel from surrounding areas extinguish a fire that began inside a second-floor garage office.

A fire ripped through and destroyed a second-floor garage office on High Rock Road Monday afternoon.

Emergency responders led by Botsford firefighters arrived to the detached garage at 105 High Rock Road at about 3:30 p.m. to discover fire shooting out of both sides of a second-floor office.

“The whole second-floor was fully involved,” Botsfod Fire Chief Wayne Ciaccia said.

No one appeared to have been inside at the time the fire broke out and no one was injured in the blaze, officials said.

Homeowner Calvin Blackwell, 61, said he had been working inside the office and had left to go out for lunch. When he returned, and opened the door, he was greeted by a plume of black smoke.

Blackwell, who works as a general contractor, said he then told his wife to call 911 while he grabbed a household fire extinguisher to see if he could put out the blaze but then he decided against it after heavy smoke greeted him at the door.

“It was too black inside,” he said.

Blackwell said he keeps blueprints and other paperwork associated with his work in the office.

Because there are no ready hydrants in the area, tankers from Monroe, Sandy Hook and Dodgingtown brought water to the scene, though firefighters were able to work off of the trucks, Ciaccia said.

“We didn’t have to set up a pond,” he said.

After blanketing the outside with water, firefighters also entered the office to fight the blaze from inside.

“We had guys inside putting it out from inside,” Ciaccia said, adding that the fire was placed under control about 10 minutes after firefighters had their hoses set up.

A ladder truck from Hook and Ladder also was called to the scene.

The fire appeared to have started on one side of the office because that side apparently sustained more damage than the other, Fire Marshal Bill Halstead said

“It burned right through the floor,” he said of that side of the office.

At this point the fire appeared to have started accidental, although investigators expect to return the next day to inspect the scene further, Halstead said.

"Right now, there's too much steam from the water," he said.

Blackwell and his wife said they have lived at their home for about 30 years. The garage office was built in 2002, he said.

Barbara Yarbrough November 22, 2011 at 12:24 PM
Firefighters responded so quickly to the site of the fire! The sad part was that it took so long to get water on the fire (no hydrants in this part of town). Once the water hit the blaze the flames were extinguished quickly. So sad to see the damage.
Beth Koschel November 23, 2011 at 11:34 AM
So sorry to hear of the damage to the office but very happy no one was hurt. Calvin was our contractor for our addition on our home and you could not meet a nicer, honest or hard working man. He was a complete pleasure to work with. Our best to Calvin and Laverne for a quick rebuild!
Roger November 23, 2011 at 01:26 PM
Yes they did respond very quickly, being a neighbor I witnessed the water was actually on the fire within moments after engines arrived. That would be why the building is still standing. Good job to the firefighters of Newtown for their quick response!
SHVFD November 23, 2011 at 04:28 PM
Pretty good outcome once a proper size up was given
Paul Mangiafico November 24, 2011 at 04:55 PM
I am very pleased that the damage was not extensive and no injuries resulted. This is but one more example of the value of our volunteer fire companies. They perform a great and unheralded service to our community. Please remember this when they submit their annual budget and solicit for contributions. Thank you all for your splendid work on behalf of all of us in Newtown.


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