Early morning structure fire destroys woodshop in Hurricane

ST. GEORGE — Three fire departments responded to an early morning structure fire on 100 North in Hurricane, destroying a local woodshop.

Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal and Todd Hohbein inside of woodshop on 100 North after a fire started in one of the large wood saws, Hurricane, Utah, Sept. 14, 2019 | Photo by Ron Chaffin, St. George News

The fire was reported at 100 N. 401 West in Hurricane shortly before 3 a.m. by a witness leaving the Anytime Fitness Center located at 390 W. State Street. The witness called 911 to report they saw flames coming from the building, Hurricane Valley Fire Battalion Chief Merlin Spendlove said.

The building was fully involved in flames when firefighters arrived and began an aggressive attack on the blaze to prevent it from spreading to nearby buildings.

The Washington City Fire Department and Colorado City Fire and Rescue also responded to assist in suppression efforts as the fire continued to spread quickly, fed by an abundance of fuels in the form of wood and other combustibles inside the building.

“We’re lucky the fire didn’t spread because there were several other structures close by,” Spendlove said. “So it would have been worse had it got out.”

After battling the blaze for more than an hour, the fire was extinguished before sunrise. Firefighters remained at the scene for several more hours conducting an overhaul of the fire, which entails opening walls, ceilings and any voids to check for remaining embers or flames that would have extended from the garage into other areas.

Spendlove said the fire may have started near one of the large saws located inside of the building, based on statements made at the scene indicating it was the last piece of equipment used before the shop closed down for the night. Additionally, the damage in that area of the shop where the equipment was located was significantly greater than in other areas of the business.

Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Todd Hohbein was also called out to conduct an investigation into the cause of the blaze and was still on scene Saturday morning.

“The fire appears to have started from some type of electrical issue with the saw, but the investigation is still ongoing so we’ll know more later,” he said.

The shop and all its contents were destroyed in the fire, but no other structures were affected.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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