Dickinson Fire Department responds to THS flare up
Two days after the blaze at Trinity High School was put out, the Dickinson Fire Department was once again called to the school to suppress a flare up.
Shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday as crews were sorting through the rubble, some of the charred remained reignited, which is common in incidents like this, Fire Chief Bob Sivak said.
“You would think with everything that was up there, as soaking wet as it is, that that wouldn’t happen. But there’s always a little pocket someplace,” Sivak said. “It’s just like barbecue briquettes. It lays in there as long as its protected until enough stuff gets moved where it gets some air and then, poof, it flares up a little bit.”
One truck with the on-duty crew responded to Trinity on Wednesday afternoon, Sivak said.
Officials are waiting on insurance estimates to come up with the dollar-amount for the damage done, Sivak said.
“I’m fairly sure that this is going to be a large-fire dollar loss in this case, just because of the structural damage that occurred,” Sivak said.
In 2007, Dickinson saw about $1.5 million worth of damage done by fire, according to the Fire Department’s annual report, which it gave to the Dickinson City Commission on Monday.
There were two major fires that year — the Historic Elks Building and East End Auto, Sivak said.
There was less than $1 million in fire damage last year, but about $1.3 million in 2012 after a fire at JCPenney in the Prairie Hills Mall destroyed merchandise, but didn’t damage the structure.
As property values increase, the value of damage done by fire also rises, Sivak said.
“A severe house fire now can be a $200,000 or $300,000 fire,” Sivak said.
Between the fire at Trinity, now is a good time to bring up fire safety, Sivak said.
“Check your smoke detectors,” Sivak said. “Check your smoke detectors at home and change the batteries.”
Daylight Savings Time, which occurs Sunday, is a time of year when firefighters recommend people check the batteries in their smoke detectors.
Even the hard-wired smoke detectors begin to wear out after about a decade, so it’s important to replace ill-working devices, Sivak said.
While the Trinity High School fire is an alleged arson, a lack of common sense can cause fires, Sivak said.
When using space heaters and candles, it’s important to make sure they are off and extinguished before leaving a residence or office, Sivak said. Avoid electrical fires by making sure all electrical devices, including power strips, are working properly.