March 16, 2017 - 1:56 pm - Posted in News

RVFD Rock Valley FireRock Valley, Iowa– The Rock Valley Bee newspaper office building was damaged in a fire on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 in Rock Valley.

According to Rock Valley Fire Chief Brent Eshuis, about 12:30 p.m., the Rock Valley Fire Department was called to the report of smoke in the building at the Rock Valley Bee newspaper office at 1442 Main Street.

The chief says the fire department saw light smoke in the garage area as they approached the scene.

He says the garage door was open, but the fire was not in that part of building. He says firefighters went further into building, past some doors, behind which they encountered thick black smoke. He says the fire was pretty much contained to the room of origin. Eshuis says at that point they asked for the Hull Fire Department to come to the scene with an extra engine and manpower, and for the Sioux Center Fire Department to come with an engine, an aerial truck, and a tanker just in case.

Eshuis says thankfully they didn’t need to pump any water with the Hull or Sioux Center trucks. He does say that he’s glad they came, to offer a margin of safety.

He says that the Fire Marshal’s office determined that the cause was a small exhaust fan in the ceiling. The Fire Marshal’s office determined that the fan got hot and something dropped out of the fan to the floor and landed next to a work bench in the middle of the room. Eshuis says it had papers, boxes, and printers on it, which were burning.

Eshuis says one of the workers was eating lunch in her office and smelled smoke. He says she investigated and eventually saw black smoke coming out of the heat vent and called 911. He says it was fortunate that someone was in the building, or he says it could have been much worse.

Chief Eshuis reports that there was moderate damage, which was mostly contained to the room, and no injuries were reported.

He says they used 100 to 200 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene for two hours.

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