Gainesville Fire Rescue (GFR) is investigating the cause of a commercial fire that ravaged the Alachua County Feed and Seed Store on NW 6th Street on Thursday morning.
A GFR press release said units from Stations 1, 3, 5 and 8 arrived in four minutes to the scene after receiving the alert at 7:08 a.m.
Heavy smoke came from the building and the crews began an “interior fire attack” on the heavy fire load inside. GFR had neighbors shelter in place while it assessed nearby hazards.
Because of the deteriorating situation, crews began defensive measures on the main fire while attacking any spread to nearby buildings, according to GFR.
Company Officer of Engine-1 Tracey Higdon found an entrance close to the “seat” of the fire, and Engine-1 began deploying handlines, a tactic used to fight the fire while protecting exposures, the release stated.
GFR managed to contain the fire to the feed store and one room of an adjacent building, and no injuries were reported.
The portion of NW 6th Avenue in front of the feed store was still shut down at 12:45 p.m.
The GFR release referenced statistics from the National Fire Protection Association. The association noted that departments nationwide respond to approximately 13,570 fires in stores and mercantile properties per year, accounting for 3 percent of all structure fires and 6 percent of total property damage.
The fires also cause an annual average of 12 civilian deaths, 299 civilian injuries and $604 million in direct property damage.