WILLIAMSBURG – When the pager for Williamsburg Fire Chief Donald Lawton went off Saturday morning, a dispatcher’s voice from Northampton Control announced “Attention all Williamsburg units, Box Alarm. Attention all Williamsburg units, Box Alarm. Respond to Bacon’s Equipment, 29 Goshen Road in Williamsburg for a reported structure fire.” Chief Lawton, who lives just a few houses up the road from Bacon’s looked out the window of his house and could see flames.
The fire was first spotted by a passing newspaper delivery person who dialed 911 around 3 a.m. Saturday morning to get help.
It’s safe to say that almost every responding firefighter was very familiar with Bacon’s because they’ve shopped there at some point in their lifetime. Bacon’s sells everything from auto parts to farm tractors and everything in between. That also meant that there was plenty of material inside the building to fuel a fire if it couldn’t be controlled quickly. As a result, mutual aid was called in from Chesterfield, Northampton, Goshen, and Westhampton.
Temperatures in the mid teens greeted first arriving units who found flames on the second floor face of the building around the sign carrying the store’s name. It was later determined that the fire was caused by an electrical short in the lighting fixture for that sign. Note the charring on both ends of the sign.
Firefighters had to cut holes in the wall and remove fiberglass insulation to expose hot spots that continued to smolder even after the flames were extinguished. Structural damage was limited due to the quick response of firefighters who were credited for a great save. Notice the frame between the two windows that used to hold the store sign.
In this photo, Williamsburg Firefighter Cory McGill conducts overhaul operations on the interior of the second floor. Firefighters deployed tarps and removed equipment from the first floor wall to protect it from water that was dripping from overhead.
(Saturday April 21st, 2009)