The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

May 3, 2013

Containing the blaze

Firefighters save FirstEnergy distribution center

By MARGIE NETZEL - mnetzel@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

GENEVA —  Fearing damage to an electrical substation that distributes power to much of Geneva, firefighters rushed to extinguish a fire at a FirstEnergy storage building on West Street on Thursday morning.

The initial call to 911 at 8 a.m. indicated the substation, located between UH-Geneva Medical Center and The Geneva Shores nursing home, was on fire, Geneva Fire Chief Doug Starkey said.

“There was heavy fire showing upon our arrival,” Starkey said. “We did fear that the sub-station was involved, which would have been a real problem both in fighting the fire and the possible disruption of power to the city.”

Starkey said firefighters made entry to the storage shed next to the substation and began to fight the fire with water and foam.

“We got this fire under control quickly,” he said. “It was very efficient work.”

The shed, located at 19 W. St., housed snow plows and huge rolls of electrical cables.

“This shed isn’t used very much,” Starkey said, “so there isn’t much in here.”

After the fire was out, firefighters stayed at the scene to tear off some of the building’s roof.

“We are tearing the ceiling down because there was extension of fire to the ceiling rafters,” he said. “Re-kindling is always a concern.”

Starkey said investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire and assess the amount of damage caused to the structure and its contents.

No one was injured in the fire and firefighters from Saybrook Township and Madison fire departments provided mutual aid at the scene.