Jefferson County Fire Department investigates dumpster fire possibly used as warming fire.

HOLLY M. GILL - The south side of Aaron's, at 1462 SW Highway 97, suffered about $10,000 in damage from a dumpster started early Jan. 4. The fire activated a sprinkler on the building's exterior.A dumpster fire in a covered area outside a local business was quickly extinguished early Jan. 4, thanks to an exterior sprinkler, an alarm, and the Jefferson County Fire Department.

Capt. Kasey Skaar said that the fire department was notified of the fire at 7:14 a.m., Jan. 4, after a water flow alarm resulted in a dispatch call to the department.

The fire, at 1462 SW Highway 97, was on the south exterior of Aaron's, located next to Dollar Tree, and occurred before the business opened.

"When (we) arrived on scene, fire personnel found a trash fire up against the building," said Skaar. "One sprinkler head above the fire activated and extinguished most of the fire. There was an ample fuel load for the fire to consume and spread, had the sprinkler system not been operational."

"It was basically out when we got on scene," he said, noting that the business suffered about $10,000 in damage to the exterior wall and a garage roll-up door.

Firefighters and the sprinkler system kept the fire from spreading and causing more damage to furniture and electronics on the south side of the building.

The department responded with one engine, one command vehicle and one support vehicle and nine personnel. They remained on scene for nearly two hours to clean up water to prevent damage in the showroom.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Skaar said there is no nearby heat source, and it was possibly started as a warming fire.

Skaar emphasized the role that the sprinkler system had in preventing a much larger fire. "It shows how important operating sprinkler systems are," he said.

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