January 11, 2007

Eds Used Machinery Shop Damaged By Fire

A fire caused extensive heat and smoke damage to a Scotland County business in the early morning hours of Friday, January 5th.

The Scotland County Fire Department was dispatched to Eds Used Machinery, located just west of Memphis on Highway 136 at 5:41 a.m., after a fire was discovered in the west end of the large metal building.

The first fire truck rolled from the station just four minutes later and was on scene at the site at 5:47 a.m.

Firemen made entrance to the building in the west end and used the departments thermal imaging device to quickly locate the source of the heavy smoke and high heat in the northwest corner of the building.

A hose team wearing air packs was able to quickly get to the heat source and douse the flames that had consumed a storage shelf on the west wall and threatened to ignite several pieces of machinery in the shop as well as numerous chemical containers.

The blaze appeared to have started among a small pile of tires located outside the building, adjacent to the west end of the facility.

Because of concerns that the fire may have originated outside the building, the property owner, the fire department and law enforcement officials on scene agreed to have the site reviewed by the State Fire Marshals office.

Investigators determined that the blaze likely originated inside the shop and focused efforts on electrical wiring in that portion of the building, effectively ruling out any foul play. The heat likely transferred through the metal wall to the tires outside and ultimately ignited the combustible material giving the appearance that the fire could have originated outside of the building, raising the initial suspicion that the fire could have been deliberately set by an arsonist.

Members of the fire department remained on the scene until noon to assist with the investigation and insure no additional flare-ups.

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