Smoke Detected In Downtown Businesses

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called to the downtown business district on Central Avenue shortly after 10:00 a.m.  Hotopp’s Jewelry reported smelling smoke, and called for the fire department.  Fire Chief Dave Schipper explains the smoke was actually originating from the business next door.

Listen to

{audio} images/stories/mp3/May 2015/Schipper1.mp3{/audio}

Schipper says the smoke had entered the neighboring businesses.

Listen to

{audio} images/stories/mp3/May 2015/Schipper2.mp3{/audio}

The Le Mars Fire Chief says fire crews searched the ground floor of the Green Tea business and did not find any fire.  He says he then sent crews to the roof.

Listen to

{audio} images/stories/mp3/May 2015/Schipper3.mp3{/audio}


Schipper believes the encrusted grease on the ventilation fan may have been burning for quite a while before people noticed the smoke.

Listen to

{audio} images/stories/mp3/May 2015/Schipper4.mp3{/audio}

Schipper says he called for the Orange City Fire Department with its ladder truck to serve as a backup, in case the fire would have ignited the entire building.


Listen to

{audio} images/stories/mp3/May 2015/Schipper5.mp3{/audio}

Firefighters used pressure fans to ventilate the smoke from each of the three businesses.  Chief Schipper says he doesn’t know the extent of the dollar damage.

Listen to

{audio} images/stories/mp3/May 2015/Schipper6.mp3{/audio}

The Green Tea will remain closed until such time repairs have been made to the business.