Crews respond to commercial fire

At 09:29 this morning, Graafschap Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a fire at a commercial property on Lincoln Road in Fillmore Township. Two fulltime, day-shift personnel and one part-paid that was in-station responded immediately from the station. Automatic aid from Hamilton and Overisel were also alerted by Allegan County Dispatch.

Chief DenBleyker arrived to report smoke coming from the rear of the structure. Crews were able to extinguish the fire with a single hand-line using less than 100 gallons of water. An electrical compressor confined in a wooden box was deemed the area of origin. A closer look showed there was not enough ventilation for the motor and the plywood eventually caught fire from the process of pyrolysis, a reaction in which changes the chemical makeup of a combustible due to heat exposure over a period of time.

Quick thinking by employees contained the fire to the area of origin by deploying two fire extinguishers that were mounted in the building. Once the extinguishers were empty, they evacuated with the rest of their co-workers. After extinguishment and some ventilation, the owner and his employees were allowed back inside. Although one machine was down for repair, they were able to re-start their processes in under an hour after the fire..

Fire extinguishers isolated on white background. Various types of extinguishers.

Graafschap Fire Department conducts fire safety surveys of all commercial properties on a regular basis. This particular business had been visited in 2023 and everything was in good shape. Today’s fire was accidental in nature, but the good working relationship with the fire department, up to date extinguishers, and quick thinking employees prevented this situation from being much worse.

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