Weed-Whacking with Torch Triggers Storage Unit Fire

Submitted 3 months ago

A storage facility in Williamstown was destroyed last week in an accidental fire that started when a contracted worker used a propane torch to kill weeds outside the storage units, according to a release from VSP Det. Sgt. Todd Ambroz.

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At approximately 1 p.m. on August 14, the Williamstown Fire Department and numerous nearby fire departments were called to the fire at Bridge Street Storage Units on 163 Industry Street.

Det. Sgt. Ambroz said that because the units were locked, the fire spread until the locks were cut and firefighters could access the blaze.

Chief Graham of the Williamstown FD contacted the Department of Public Safety Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit for an origin and cause investigation.

Ambroz reported that Jay Carr, owner of the storage units, had contracted with a company to have the pavement surrounding the storage units resurfaced. This included removing weeds that had grown up through cracks in the pavement by use of a handheld propane torch.

Ambroz said as a worker burned weeds close to the base of a storage unit, the fire breached the low-level metal and began burning inside one of the units.

Those onsite called 911 at that point, but since there was no immediate access to the blaze, it quickly spread to other units.

The fire has been ruled accidental. Ambroz said damage estimates are pending, while renters of the units inventory their property and report losses. The storage unit structure is considered a total loss.

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