State investigator traces origin of Hollandale warehouse fire - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

State investigator traces origin of raging Hollandale warehouse fire

Hollandale people watch firefighters on July 8 Hollandale people watch firefighters on July 8

HOLLANDALE, Minn. (KTTC) -- A state fire investigator has traced the origin of a raging fire that destroyed three large storage building in Hollandale last July 8.

Donald and Irene Jones were storing antique cars at the buildings on Netherland Avenue West.

Those buildings were a total loss valued at 200-thousand dollars.

Deputy Fire Marshal Steve Kellen says he traced the origin of the blaze to an office area rented by a man named Craig Ferns who was running an eBay business.  Ferns reported the only thing he ever noticed that wasn't working right in the office was a computer power strip, but the investigator was not able to conclude that it was the cause of the fire.

"Reassembly of the south wall steel panels indicated the fire originated within the center area of the south end of the structure where the shipping office of Craig Ferns was located," reported Kellen.  "Possible remains of the computer power strip were located along the south area, but were destroyed when the owners tore away the south end of the structure prior to the final scene examination." 

The investigator said Ferns had not been inside the building the day of the fire, and when he left at 5:30 the evening before, "everything was fine."  Kellen said he is listing the cause of the fire as undetermined and the case is closed.

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