A concrete enclosure that contained the spread of a recycling-bin fire was “the saving grace” for Hillcrest Plaza merchants, World Serve Thrift manager Melody Jobse said this week.
“It was in… essentially a concrete bunker,” Jobse said Monday. “Otherwise, it could have easily gone into the building.”
Firefighters were alerted to the blaze just before 5:30 a.m. Sunday (July 3), when flames were seen coming from the loading dock located behind the 1401 Thrift Ave. thrift store.
It looked like a bigger deal than it was, deputy Chief Rob Atkinson said.
While it required a substantial amount of water to douse, the fire was contained within minutes and posed a minimal threat, he said.
“I live two minutes away and (firefighters) got it out by the time I got there,” Atkinson said. “It would’ve taken a long time to spread anywhere.”
The building itself was charred by the fire, but otherwise unscathed, he said.
Atkinson said there was “no way” to determine exactly what sparked the fire. While it’s possible it was intentionally set, it is also possible that a smoldering cigarette butt could be to blame.
Jobse said the fire was the first of its kind that she has seen at the mall since World Serve Thrift opened 18 months ago.