Fire damages Oak and Treasures building and attached apartment
Two area men learned the value of smoke detectors after waking to the sound of one going off early Sunday morning. It turns out, that alarm saved their lives.
The two men were asleep in an apartment that shares a building with a storage facility on the grounds of Oak and Treasures in Empire Township. According to Farmington fire marshal John Powers, they were awakened by a smoke detector going off shortly after 6 a.m.
They saw flames coming from the kitchen and laundry area of the building, Powers said, and tried briefly to put them out with a fire extinguisher. When that did not work, they fled the building and called 911. In their reports to Powers, the men said the flames spread throughout the structure within minutes of their exit.
Farmington fire chief Tim Pietsch was the first to arrive on the scene. Since there are no hydrants in the area, Pietsch called the Randolph, Hampton and Rosemount departments for temporary water tanks and assistance. Firefighters had the blaze under control within two hours, Powers said, but remained on the scene until approximately 2:30 p.m.
The building was a mixed-use facility, used by Oak and Treasures as a storage area for things like decorations and maintenance equipment. The business's maintenance manager was living in an attached apartment. Powers estimates damages in excess of $200,000 to the storage and apartment facility.
Upon initial investigation, the fire appears to have been caused by an electrical malfunction. Powers has narrowed the point of origin to the electrical box, but will need an electrician to determine what the malfunction may have been.
"This was accidental," Powers said. "There's really no reason to suspect anything different."
Sunday's fire was the second structure fire in less than a week.