ST. MARYS — A quick response from local residents helped reduce damage from a fire Tuesday afternoon at a downtown St. Marys business.
At approximately 4:13 p.m. Tuesday, members of the St. Marys Fire Department arrived at Sketcherz Ink, 229 E. Spring St., on a report of smoke and fire coming from the building. As crews arrived, employees of the tattoo and piercing shop already pulled back some of the building’s fascia to expose the source of the fire.
“They pulled back the fascia on the front of the building and poured some buckets of water down it,” St. Marys Fire Captain Doug Ayers said. “That extinguished a large portion of the fire.”
Firefighters used a saw to cut into the door frame and floor leading up to an apartment. Ayers said the fire, which had been smoldering for some time, was then extinguished.
“A fire like that is really hard to determine how exactly it started and how long it had been going,” Ayers said. “Where it was down in the basement, we didn’t see anything electrical.”
Ayers surmised the fire possibly started from discarded smoking material that found its way between the sidewalk and building.
“It just smoldered until it had enough time to get the wood caught on fire,” Ayers said. “We didn’t find anything to make that a definite conclusion, it’s a hypothesis when you eliminate all other possibilities.”
Ayers praised the quick action of those on the scene before firefighters arrived for preventing a larger fire.
“It absolutely could have been much worse,” Ayers said. “If it was not discovered yesterday while the business was open, it very easily, through the night, could have smoldered into something much more and we could have had a much larger fire. With the occupants there noticing it and taking quick action, they definitely helped the situation.”