Fire engulfs Lowell garage

LOWELL – A fire along Ohio 60 in Lowell engulfed an unoccupied two-story garage apartment Wednesday morning.

Lowell-Adams Volunteer Fire Department received multiple calls about a fire at 12270 Ohio 60 shortly after 7 a.m., the first coming from a passing school bus, said Assistant L-A Fire Chief Bob Kubota.

Devola and Reno volunteer fire departments were called for mutual aid, he said.

The first firefighter on scene said the roof had already started to collapse, said Kubota.

It took 10 loads of water and nearly a half hour to stop the blaze, which by that point had consumed the entire structure, he said.

According to a report from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the owner of the property, 54-year-old Jay Mincks, used the garage to store vehicles and equipment. However, no one had been living in the upstairs apartment for several months, said the report.

The garage housed two tractors, a 325i BMW, a lawn mower, welding equipment and tools, said the report.

The state fire marshal was called, but could not determine the cause of the fire.

The building had electricity. It also had three furnaces and a hot water heater, said Kubota, but there is no way of knowing if any of that factored into the blaze.

Mincks lived in a home detached from the garage, but he was not home at the time of the blaze, said Kubota. Mincks’ residence and a neighboring home, both less than 100 feet from the garage, did not sustain any property damage, he said.

The owner indicated he had insurance on the building itself, according to the sheriff’s report. However, it was not immediately known if he had insurance on the contents of the building.