Home > Electrical Fire, Industrial > UT: New Years Costco Electrical Fire Causes $2,000,000 in Damages

UT: New Years Costco Electrical Fire Causes $2,000,000 in Damages

American Fork, UT: An electrical  fire, possibly started by a malfunctioning heater, caused an estimated $2 million in damage to Costco on New Year’s Day.

The store is closed for cleanup. On Wednesday two full-time employees stood in front of the store letting Costco members, who were arriving continuously, know of the closure. “It was just a small electrical fire and we are doing some water clean up,” C.D. Fackrell, Costco Lehi manager, said. “We are really pushing to be open by Friday.”

Most of the damage was caused by water and smoke. The fire started at about 9:45 p.m. and since it was a holiday, no one was at the store to notice it. The fire began in the merchandise section of the store near the southernmost major corridor running east-west.

Firefighters were alerted at about 10:30 p.m. “We saw the water flow alarm and with water flowing we knew something was going on,” Lehi Fire Battalion Chief Rick Howard said. “We got there and the whole building was full of smoke.”

The Provo Fire Department was called to help disperse the smoke, which lessened the smoke damage. Provo firefighters brought in their large truck fan to blow smoke out of the building. Ceiling vents also were opened to get rid of the smoke.

But they couldn’t get it out quickly enough to save merchandise. “You can’t sell stinky clothes and stinky fruit,” Howard said.

By Wednesday afternoon, firefighters were looking at the damage to ascertain the cause of the fire. Employees were arriving for their Costco shifts but instead of serving members they were helping with cleanup.

“When we have situations like this Costco is really good at taking care of business,” Fackrell said. “We rally the troops, get it cleaned up and get ready for business.”

Story via heraldextra.com

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