LIMA — A basement fire at 518-520 N. West St. caused St. Rose School to lock down Monday morning. There were no outdoor recesses until after 11 a.m., when the lockdown lifted.
According to Lima Fire Capt. Andy Heffner, the fire was caused when the renter accidentally spilled gasoline in the basement, and the vapors made it to the water heater pilot light, which caused the basement to catch fire.
“The fire burned through a water pipe, which made it turn into a sprinkler so that helped put out the fire along with us,” Heffner said.
The fire did get into a common wall.
“The fire got up into a wall. We pulled that all out. That was pretty much it. You’re probably looking at $10,000 to $12,000 worth of damage,” Heffner said.
Fire personnel were on scene for about one and a half hours.
“The worst part for us wasn’t even the fire, it was digging it out of the wall, and chasing it down. It gets into the walls and starts crawling up the wall, you have to check a bunch of voids to make sure you don’t have fire other places,” Heffner said.
According to the Auditor’s website, the house is owned by Thomas M. Cullen and has a value of $75,600.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.