FORKS — A fire that sent flames 20 feet into the air and destroyed a nursery-saw shop was caused by an acetylene torch, Forks Fire Chief Bill Paul said Thursday.
The equipment was being used to cut cast iron bolts off of a lawn ornament at Rusty Gate Nursery & Building Supply, 221 Wood St., said Paul, of Clallam County Fire District 1.
“They walked out of the building, came back, and saw the smoke and used a 5-pound fire extinguisher to knock it down, but it reignited,” Paul said.
“It’s a total loss.”
The blaze was reported at 3:39 p.m. Tuesday.
Paul, who lives less than a mile away from the store, formerly Moody’s Nursery, said he arrived within minutes to flames shooting 20 feet in the air.
The flames grew quickly because it was a saw shop, Paul said.
“That’s why it went up so fast, there was such a huge fuel load inside,” he said.
The fire was under control within 10-15 minutes.
“Within 30 or 35 minutes, we were in mop-up,” Paul said.
The property is valued at $72,040 and is owned by Andrea Perkins and Michael Peppers of Beaver, according to the county Assessor’s Office.
Two Fire District 1 engines responded along with 13 District 1 firefighters, and two Fire District 6 personnel who were in Forks, saw smoke and went to help put out the blaze.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].