Massive warehouse fire cost Springfield more than $6,800 in OT

Members of the Springfield Fire Division try to break their fire hoses apart after they were coated with ice Wednesday morning following an overnight five alarm industrial fire in the 200 block of Monroe Street. Bill Lackey/Staff

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Staying with the story

The Springfield News-Sun has provided complete coverage of the massive fire at the Tri-State Pallet warehouse since it occurred in early January, including stories about difficulties firefighters faced at the scene and the cause of the five-alarm blaze.

By the numbers

$6,800: Cost of overtime to fight last month's five-alarm Tri-State Pallet fire.

305: Hours of labor performed at the scene by the Springfield Fire/Rescue Division, not including mutual aid from Springfield Twp., Moorefield Twp. and others.

11: Number of fire engines called to the scene by the Springfield Fire/Rescue Division.

The city spent about $6,800 in overtime to fight the five-alarm fire at the Tri-State Pallet warehouse last month, according to the Springfield Fire/Rescue Division.

Scrappers are likely to blame for igniting the blaze.

The Clark County Prosecutor’s Office isn’t pursuing criminal charges because it hasn’t been provided with enough evidence, Clark County Prosecutor Andrew Wilson said.

“Clearly, we will consider any additional evidence that is presented,” he said.

The fire at the warehouse at 270 Monroe St. on Jan. 6 — believed to be the largest fire in Springfield since 1999 — required 42 personnel and 11 fire engines at the scene, plus Box 27 Associates, mutual aid vehicles and personnel, and a heavy police presence to close the overpass and other streets.

In freezing cold temperatures, firefighters fought flames that reached more than 20 feet above the treeline and were fueled by thousands of wooden pallets stored inside. It took millions of gallons of water and several days to extinguish.

Some firefighters were called in for overtime to come to the scene, Assistant Fire Chief Brian Miller, while others were called to provide assistance at other stations in the city. The division was six firefighters over minimum staffing for the day, he said.

“We have an obligation to both keep everyone else’s property safe by keeping the fire from spreading, as well as cover the rest of the city,” Miller said.

About 305 hours of labor were performed at the scene, not including mutual aid from Springfield Twp. and Moorefield Twp.

“We certainly couldn’t have done it without their assistance,” Miller said.

Despite the cold temperatures, firefighters stayed safe, Miller said. Only one minor injury occurred at the scene, which was treated the next day with no lost time.

“We had people with ice building up on their helmets,” Miller said. “I’m sure that there were lots of sore folks, but we did really well as far as not getting anybody hurt, especially seriously hurt. We’re very grateful for that.”

Staff Writer Allison Wichie contributed to this report.