CALCUTTA - A quick response by three fire departments kept what could have been a devastating fire under control at the local Sheetz service station Tuesday evening.
The alarm went out at 7:42 p.m. of a fire at the business, and within minutes, a police officer radioed over the air that fire departments "better step it up" because smoke was showing at the rear of the building.
Calcutta fire Chief Scott Smith said preliminary investigation indicates the fire was started by a short in a receptacle in the electrical room at the back of the building.
Among the items pulled by firefighters from a burning back room at the Calcutta Sheetz Tuesday was this item, burned beyond recognition. (Photo by Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert)
He said when firefighters from his department, Glenmoor and Liverpool Township arrived on the scene, the room was on fire, with smoke filling the rest of the building and billowing out the eaves.
"We made a good, quick stop on it," Smith said, adding that water was used to extinguish the blaze in the room, where a rack filled with motor oil was pulled from the room, a box on top ablaze.
Fire damage was contained to the electrical room and rear hallway, although Smith said the rest of the store suffered smoke damage and remained closed last night since electrical power had been turned off.
He said store personnel were trying to find temporary cooler storage for supplies as he and other firefighters remained on the scene nearly two hours later.
Smith said although firemen also had to battle yesterday's oppressive heat, they had plenty of water. A hydrant across the main intersection of state Route 170 and St. Clair Avenue was tapped, with township police keeping traffic at bay to protect the hose stretched across the intersection.
Next door to the Sheetz store, Quaker Pool and Spa had three swimming pools filled with water on display which could have served as backup, if needed.
In addition to the fire departments on the scene, West Point stood by for Calcutta and Glenmoor while Wellsville sent a unit to sit on Liverpool Township's floor.
Ambulance crews also were on the scene, but no injuries were reported.