Investigators say storage unit fire was accidental

Posted by Colby Rogers - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A three-alarm fire at a storage facility in Chesterfield damaged several dozen units Thursday morning.

Flames broke out at Ironbridge Self Storage off Ironbridge Road around 7:30 a.m. and quickly turned into a potential hazardous materials situation.

Chesterfield County Fire Lt. Matt Coffin said that the uncertainty of what lay behind the closed doors of the facility compounded the situation.

"There's a multitude of concerns with going to a storage facility, just as if we were going to a resident's garage," Coffin said. "We're dealing with the possibility of propane, welding materials, chemicals, cleaners, multitudes of things."

The fire quickly spread from one storage unit to the rest, but crews had the fire under control in less than an hour.

In all, 10 units were damaged by fire and 26 were damaged by water.

The fire has been ruled accidental. Investigators say it started from electrical wiring from one of the units.

Investigators also said that no one was injured and that no hazardous materials were released during the fire.

Coffin says the fire could have been avoided.

"Even though it's not required, sprinkler system could have controlled fires like this very early and eliminated the need for this type of response," Coffin said.

Unit occupants have seen been allowed to return to the property.

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