SHAWNEE — Around midnight last Monday, the Shawnee Volunteer Fire Department responded to a car fully engulfed in flames. The fire occurred along state Route 93 South near a Columbia Gas structure.
The Shawnee Volunteer Fire Department was first alerted to the fire five minutes after midnight on Monday. The caller reported a vehicle fire which had become fully engulfed, according to Chief John Arkley.
The location of the fire took place on state Route 93 South between the Village of Shawnee and New Straitsville. The vehicle was seen parked on the side of the road next to a building owned by Columbia Gas of Ohio.
“It has Columbia Gas Equipment in it,” Arkley told The Perry County Tribune. “The building is kind of in the area of their pipeline.”
First crews to arrive on the scene found the car to be fully engulfed, making it very visible during the night hours. Surrounding the car, trees and grass were reported to have also caught fire. The roof of the building had also caught fire with Columbia Gas equipment inside.
The location of the fire was along the Wayne National Forest area. Arkley stated that crews with the National Forest were on the scene assessing the damages of the forest. They conducted an investigation the next day.
Crews took approximately 25 minutes to get the fully engulfed fire completely extinguished. Arkley stated the car fire was under control after 10 minutes of arriving on scene.
Prior to fire crews arriving on scene, additional reports from dispatchers indicated two individuals being at the scene of the fire.
“The 911 center advised us that they received a second call that said there was at least two men there,” Arkley said.
The Chief added that the two men had “disappeared” from the scene of the fire after the department’s response.
Other crews and first responding units arrived on scene to assist the Shawnee department. Assisting fire crews involved the New Lexington Fire and EMS and the New Straitsville Fire and EMS Department. Law enforcement also assisted with the Perry County Sheriff’s Office and the New Straitsville Police Department.
Crews for Columbia Gas of Ohio arrived at the building around 40 minutes after the initial call was reported. They conducted testing to confirm there were no gas leaks at the building, according to Arkley.
Crews for Columbia Gas also called for assistance to make sure the building was secure. Arkley said that crews for Columbia Gas stayed behind after the department had left the scene.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. Arkley stated that the car that was found fully engulfed had no license plate and a complete damaged vin number making it difficult to pinpoint who was the owner.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by law enforcement, according to Arkley. He added that the Perry County Sheriff’s Office was looking into the cause of the fire.