The Saratoga Sun -

Fire on Main Avenue

SVFD responds to structure fire, Saratoga without power for 30 minutes


February 19, 2020

Joshua Wood

SVFD Chief Patrick Waliser, left, and Dave Irby help firefigher Tate Stinston switch out his self contained breathing appartus on Wednesday afternoon during the fire.

Shortly before noon on February 12, the Saratoga Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD) responded to reports of a structure fire at 309 W. Main Avenue in Saratoga. The structure affected was in the back of the lot. The first truck to respond was able to access the alleyway behind the property.

According to SVFD Fire Chief Pat Waliser, units responded to the call within 5 minutes and a total of 12 personnel were dispatched to fight the blaze. As firefighters attempted to put out the fire, billowing smoke and increasing size of flames led to moments of poor visibility and possible danger to surrounding structures and utilities.

"At approximately 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 the Saratoga Volunteer Fire Department made a request that Carbon Power & Light disconnect power from a location on main street in Saratoga so they could safely fight a structure fire," said Joe Parrie, Carbon Power & Light Director of Member Services and Marketing. "The closest disconnection point is at the Saratoga Sub Station, which covers most of the town of Saratoga."

Joshua Wood

Members of the Saratoga Volunteer Fire Department go through the destroyed building after containing the fire.

Following the disconnection, the majority of the town was left without power. This included the Saratoga Branch Library, the Saratoga Care Center and the Saratoga schools. The power was restored 30 minutes later, once the substantial portion of the structure fire was contained.

At least one resident of the apartments next to the property at 309 W. Main Avenue was on oxygen and was without during the half-hour outage. A spare oxygen bottle, however, was provided by a member of South Central Wyoming Emergency Medical Services who was on scene.

The Saratoga Sun spoke with Waliser in the days after the fire. The SVFD Fire Chief informed the Sun that no other structures were affected or damaged by the fire. Walliser added that it was believed that the fire was caused by an open wood stove but, even with an investigation, the true cause of the fire may not be revealed.


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