O’FALLON, Il, (KMOX)-The city of O’Fallon, Illinois lost about a million dollars worth of specialized equipment when fire damaged the garage at its public works compound this morning.
Public Works Director Dennis Sullivan tells KMOX the fire consumed six of the 11 bays in the garage, but it could have been worse. Sullivan says a fire captain spotted the blaze moments after it broke out at about 6 am, “One of our fire captains from the O’Fallon fire captain just happened to be passing by the building and noticed smoke coming from one of the buildings in the compound.”
Sullivan says surveillance video shows a small hint of smoke in the compound at about 6:03, “By 6:08 that smoke is turning whiter and whiter and at 6:10 it’s turning black and by 6:12 the smoke is so thick it’s obscuring some of the vehicles that are parked adjacent to the building.”
The city also caught a break because one of the first firefighters on the scene, is the city’s water foreman, “Being a veteran of our public works agency, he knew where all of the vehicle keys were. They shuffled four dump trucks and a sweeper out of the way.”
Despite those efforts the city lost several trucks, and some high-tech equipment, including a camera truck used to inspect sewer mains, a quarter-million dollar truck used to clean sewer mains and an easement machine, a tank-like truck with equipment used to get into heavily wooded areas.
The state fire marshal’s office is looking for the cause, which Sullivan says may have been electrical