Fire investigators look into cause of warehouse fire

Posted: Sunday, April 14, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Fire investigators are looking into what caused a fire that damaged an empty warehouse.

The fire probably burned for several days or even a week in the insulation in the false ceiling of the Golden Valley Electric Association warehouse, investigators said.

Contract workers at the warehouse thought something might be wrong when a test section of newly applied paint started bubbling, Fairbanks Division Chief Debby Hassel said.

She said workers had seen signs that something was amiss a few days prior when water steamed while they were washing the ceiling. But nothing was found at the time and it wasn't reported to the fire department.

The workers were preparing the warehouse for the Battery Energy Storage System, a backup energy source for when the Healy-to-Fairbanks intertie is built, GVEA spokeswoman Corinne Bradish said. The burned insulation shouldn't hamper efforts to get the system online with the intertie in 2003, she said.

The fire was reported to the Fairbanks Fire Department at about 7:45 a.m. Friday.

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