An April 4 fire at Lee’s Excavating, 5854 Warren Sharon Road, damaged the business’s shop, but has not slowed down the operation.
“I had both crews out the very next morning, working,” said owner Lee Luchette.
The shop is a former train station that has been added onto, and fire got into the roof of both sections.
“There was a lot of deep-seated fire in the roof insulation,” said Brookfield Fire Chief David Masirovits. “
The metal roof had “a layer of insulation underneath that’s pressed in by the girders and the ceiling joists,” he said. “It was very hard to get to. It took a lot of time, a lot of manpower and a lot of effort to get in and get that fire, make sure it was all completely safe.”
Firefighters used a specialized nozzle called a piercing nozzle to get water to the flames, he said.
“We had to use a lot of high pressure water to try to get underneath it, get it started to where we could continuously put water in that small, small void space,” Masirovits said.
Luchette lost some equipment and will have to fix the building, but he called the damage “not that bad.”
“I think the news coverage made it seem a lot worse than what it was,” he said.
“I have to compliment the fire departments that were here, because how they contained everything so quick and good, being such an old building, so fortunate and very thankful for the work that they did,” said Luchette, who has insurance.
Masirovits said he thinks the fire started in the southwest corner of the building, where there was electrical equipment.
“I want to lean towards electrical” as the cause, Masirovits said, but he has asked the Ohio Office of State Fire Marshal to investigate.
Andy Ellinger, spokesman for the fire marshal’s office, said the cause has not been determined but the investigator “cannot eliminate electrical sources as a possible cause.”
Three firefighters suffered heat stress and/or fatigue, and one was taken to a hospital to be checked out, the chief said.
Firefighters from Vienna, Burghill-Vernon, Fowler, Liberty, Howland, Hubbard and Orangeville assisted.
Lee’s Excavating does mostly water and sewer line repair, and was formed in 1978 by Luchette’s father. The company has been at its current location since 2001.