A fire Thursday night caused extensive damage to a shop/garage building at 633 West Broad Street belonging to Darrell Gill, which served as an annex for DeKalb Tire and Service. The building is located across from Gordon's Hardware.
Central Dispatch received the call at 6:51 p.m. and members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department and the Smithville Police Department rushed to the scene.
Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker says Gill was working in a shed at the rear of the building when the fire started and he escaped unharmed. "He was in the back part of the building and had turned on a compressor when he heard a noise. When he came back up (through the building), he discovered the fire. When he discovered it, the flame was pretty good (intense) and the smoke was already getting heavy. He got out through the front door and just barely in time too. He was pretty lucky."
Chief Parker says the cause of the fire is undetermined but it started in a storage room at the rear of the building and spread to the ceiling and roof. "It started in the back of the building, in a room back there. The building has a double ceiling inside of it and a newer roof on top of an older roof. The fire got in between the roofs and there's block around the edges so it was not burning through. Half of the building is pretty extensively damaged. There was one vehicle belonging to a customer in the bay that was damaged and two more vehicles in the back of the building, belonging to Gill which were not damaged."
Smithville Police officers diverted traffic while firefighters were on the scene. No one was injured.
(Bottom Photo provided by Steven Laxton)