SOLON– The cause of last Thursday’s fire at an industrial condo in Solon is still under investigation, but assistant fire chief Scott Wolfe reported over the weekend the dollar loss will be huge.
Firefighters from around the area assisted Thursday morning when an industrial condominium on Solon’s south side became engulfed in flames.
The Solon Fire Department was called to the multiple-unit industrial condo located at 200 Windflower Ln. east of Highway 1 at 10:08 a.m. Thursday.
Wolfe said dispatchers could offer only that a paint booth was on fire.
Because it was a weekday, Wolfe called for mutual aid, knowing he might be short-staffed.
One of the Solon firefighters responding had driven by the scene on the way to the station, telling Wolfe “that thing is really rolling.”
Wolfe called for more mutual aid. As the department members left the station, Wolfe could see the smoke column. “I knew we were in for a bunch of work,” he said.
Upon arrival, heavy smoke and flames were showing from the southern end of the structure, a six-unit garage/warehouse with some office spaces.
Firefighters pulled their big hoses from the trucks and made an aggressive attack to cut the fire off, Wolfe said. The fire appeared to have started in the unit farthest to the south.
The combined efforts of the four departments– Solon, North Liberty, Iowa City and Ely– had contained the blaze by 11 a.m. to the exterior walls of the southern units.
Additionally, Mount Vernon and Lisbon, Swisher, West Branch and Tiffin fire departments, as well as the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department, responded with manpower on the scene. “We needed every one of them,” Wolfe noted.
The fire was considered under control by approximately 4 p.m.
“The guys on the line did a great job of cutting it off and knocking it down,” Wolfe said.
The contents of some neighboring units were removed, but heavy fire damage was sustained by over half of the structure and its contents. One overheated firefighter was treated on the scene by paramedics.