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Temporary wiring sparks shop fire on K-Beach

Posted: May 19, 2014 - 10:49pm

An electrical problem triggered an early morning fire in a detached garage on Kalifornsky Beach Road Monday, said Central Emergency Services Health and Safety Officer Brad Nelson.

CES crews arrived on scene with 10 firefighters from two engines at about 6 a.m. and extinguished the fire 30 minutes later. Nelson said the owner of the building reported the fire after he awoke in his home next to the engulfed structure.

Nelson said no one was injured in the fire. The 600 square foot shop located at Mile 3.65 on K-Beach Road was a total loss with the damage estimated at about $40,000 to the building and a total of $100,000 from a vehicle, equipment and tools that were lost in the fire, he said.

When crews arrived, they discovered the fire in the rear of the shop spread to vegetation and were able to extinguish the fire before it could spread any further, Nelson said.

A preliminary investigation revealed the fire was caused from temporary electrical wiring that rubbed up against the electrical panel and sparked the fire, he said.

“The most likely cause is a shorted wire, which ignited surrounding combustible material,” he said.

Nelson said the owner of the building, who used the shop for auto mechanic work, installed the temporary wiring last week with the intention of making permanent fixes when he got more money.

With high winds through Tuesday and a red flag warning in effect in the Kenai Peninsula, Nelson said he hopes it rains before Memorial Day weekend because fire conditions are dangerous. He urged residents to not leave any bonfires unattended.

“Right now we are waiting at the ready,” he said. “If a fire gets out of control, it could be a recipe for disaster.”

Reach Dan Balmer at daniel.balmer@peninsulaclarion.com.

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