This abandoned shop at 335 S. Virginia was once Mata Transmissions until it was destroyed by fire last year. Firefighters believe smoldering materials from using a cutting torch in demolition activities Saturday ignited and caught the wooden office inside on fire again. Courtesy photo
Saturday battles included commercial fire at 335 S. Virginia, residential fire at 318 N. Grant Ave.
• L&T staff report
Liberal firefighters responded to several calls on Saturday, including two significant structure fires.
At 1:10 p.m., fire crews responded to 335 S. Virginia Ave. to Mata’s Transmission & Body Shop for an unknown type of fire.
The first arriving units found the building to be heavily involved with an interior fire. Due to the fact that this building was known to be vacant and had been extensively damaged by a previous fire on July 30, 2012, the fire was initially attacked from the exterior only.
The fire was declared out at 1:32 p.m. and crews remained on-scene conducting overhaul operations until 2:17 p.m.
The building is currently undergoing demolition and the remaining wooden office area inside was ignited by molten materials from a cutting torch.
Also assisting at the scene were Liberal Police Department and Seward County EMS.
Fire crews responded again at 8:55 p.m. to 318 N. Grant Ave. for a reported structure fire.
On arrival, the fire was found to be in a detached shed. The fire was quickly extinguished and declared under control at 9:01 p.m.
The cause of the fire was a halogen lamp igniting vapors from painting inside the shed. The shed suffered extensive fire damage but the fire was contained to the shed itself.
Crews remained on scene conducting overhaul until 9:41 p.m. Also assisting once again were Liberal Police Department and Seward County EMS.
Throughout the day Saturday, firefighters also responded to two medical calls with Seward County EMS and responded to a non-emergency to SWMC at 303 W. 15th to extinguish ground cover smoldering in a flower bed on the property.
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