Blaze destroys Walker business

WALKER – The damage is so extensive, investigators may not be able to determine what caused a fire that destroyed a business that worked with boats, tractors and other vehicles late Wednesday night.

Precision Automotive & Marine, at 598 WPA Road, Walker, burned to the ground, with flames destroying several vehicles and pieces of equipment inside. Capt. Paul Jordan, with the Wood County Fire Investigation Team, estimated the damage at more than $300,000.

Members of the Deerwalk, East Wood, Lubeck and Waverly volunteer fire departments responded to the blaze after it was reported around 10:45 p.m. Wednesday.

“It was fully involved upon our arrival,” Deerwalk Chief Kim Marshall said. “He had a lot of machinery and cars and tractors and motorcycles in there.”

Owner Robert McIntosh, who lives across the road, was able to get some things out of the building before firefighters arrived, Marshall said.

Because the fire had spread throughout the approximately 60-by-80-foot barn-style structure, firefighters were unable to attack it from the inside, Marshall said.

“It took about 45 minutes to an hour to get it under control,” he said.

Firefighters remained on the scene until about 5 a.m. Thursday to completely extinguish the fire.

Tankers were used to haul water to the scene because the nearest hydrant was three-quarters of a mile away, Marshall said. The building was too far gone by the time firefighters arrived for a closer hydrant to have made a difference, he said.

Members of the Fire Investigation Team returned to the scene Thursday to get a better look at it in the daylight.

Jordan said the large amount of damage and debris may make determining what started the fire impossible. They are still investigating, and Jordan said he does not believe there was any foul play.

“We just don’t consider it suspicious in nature,” he said.

Marshall noted power had been off and recently restored in the area prior to the fire, but he could not say whether that was a factor.