While departments from McPherson and Galva were quick to respond to a call on an active structure fire in the early morning hours of Feb. 23, that couldn't entirely negate the damage done by the blaze.
Calls went out for a structure fire in the 700 block of North Maple in McPherson around 2:50 a.m. Feb. 23, with McPherson Fire on scene within five minutes. McPherson Fire Chief T.J. Wyssmann noted his crews arrived on scene to find a two-car, detached garage that was "fully involved" in the fire — with that fire additionally threatening at least six other buildings in the area.
McPherson Fire Department crews worked to contain the fire from spreading — conducting a primary search and getting water on the fire as quickly as possibly. Meanwhile, law enforcement evacuated the other nearby structures that were threatened/affected.
No victims were found in the primary or secondary searches and no injuries were reported to McPherson crews, but the fire did spread from the garage to the adjacent residential building. It also caused additional damage to residential buildings to the north and west of the garage, as well as multiple utility buildings/sheds and vehicles.
"It is a complete loss (of the garage)," Wyssmann said. "About $200,000 is our estimate for fire damages."
The fire did displace the family living in the residence adjacent to the garage, but Wyssmann noted Red Cross was called in to help provide shelter and an outside company was contacted to help up board up the house in advance of the precipitation that accumulated on Sunday.
Departments responding to the call included McPherson Fire, McPherson EMS, McPherson PD and Galva Fire. Wyssmann noted crews had the fire contained within about an hour of arriving on scene, even as extensive as the blaze was, and remained on scene for overhaul until 7:02 a.m.
"The crews had their hands full in trying to get wrapped around this fire," Wyssmann said. "We did bring the fire under control relatively quickly for the amount of fire that we had."
Once the fire was mitigated, McPherson FD entered an investigation stage, which Wyssmann said is currently ongoing. Wyssmann said no more information will be released until that investigation is complete, which could take some time.