Rubbish fire causes panic at Dollar Tree - Titusville Herald: News

Rubbish fire causes panic at Dollar Tree

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Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2019 5:00 am

A small rubbish fire from the backyard of a home on Main Street led to reports of smoke coming from the roof of Dollar Tree on Friday.

Hydetown Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Mike Vantassel was the first to arrive on scene. Vantassel said he saw and smelled smoke while filling up his car at GetGo.

“I drove over right away once I got the call,” he said. “I pulled in and walked around the building before I saw where the smoke was actually coming from.”

Vantassel told Dollar Tree employees to evacuate the store for precautionary reasons. Employees said they were concerned that it was an electrical fire because of the strong smell of smoke that was filling the store.

Fire companies from Titusville, Hydetown and Pleasantville all arrived on scene. According to Titusville City Fire Department Lieutenant James Brown, Cherrytree’s volunteer fire department was also on standby if any additional assistance was needed at the scene.

“I feel bad with everyone rushing out here, but we wanted to make sure everything was okay,” Brown said. “We went in with our thermo-imagers to check fro smoke and sent a few guys up on the roof to look at their vents. My guys said that the air-handlers were cool and that there was no evidence of an electrical fire.”

Brown said he believes that the unattended rubbish fire, which contained pieces of plastic, eminated smoke that was carried in through the store’s ventilation system. He and another firefighter used a water can to extinguish the flames after repeated failed attempts to find who was responsible for starting the fire.

“I went out back through their gate and yelled to see if anybody was there,” Brown said. “No one responded, so we were forced to put of the flames.”

Brown confirmed that everyone was unharmed and that the smoke proved no further risk to the store. He said that while burning is legal in Titusville, any fire must be attended at all times and that only wood can be used to burn.

“Recreational fires are allowed, but they must be contained in a ring and you can’t burn trash,” Brown said. “There’s not much give in that rule.”

The Titusville City Fire Department deployed its new ladder truck for the first time in response to the rubbish fire. The truck was not used to extinguish the flames or to assist firefighters in reaching the roof of Dollar Tree, but was present at the scene.

Zook can be reached, by email, at

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1 comment:

  • Noahs Bark posted at 6:57 pm on Mon, Jul 1, 2019.

    Noahs Bark Posts: 90

    If we had more firemen this would never have happened.


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