Update: Space Heater Blamed for Fire at Strip Mall

By  | 

A Lincoln Fire Inspector determined a space heater in a storage room caused an overnight night fire at Tina'n Nail and Spa.

The first call came in about 11:50 p.m. Saturday when neighbors reported smelling smoke near 30th and O Street.

According to Lincoln Fire and Rescue Division Chief Roger Bonin, the first engine company to arrive on the scene found smoke billowing from a roof at 3130 O Street, above Tina'n Nail and Spa.

On Sunday afternoon, Fire Inspector Damon Robbins told 10/11 a space heater, that was plugged in and on, caused a plastic trash can with paper, cardboard and food combustibles to catch on fire.

Robbins said the fire was contained to that room because an electric water heater acted as a sprinkler system. He said the heat from the fire melted the water pipes soddered together, which caused water to leak and act like a sprinkler system.

Robbins said the business did not have a sprinkler system in place and that the storage room was about 8x10 feet in size.

LFR had to call in more crews to fight the fire when smoke could be seen inside the windows.

Fire crews forced their way into the business and smoked poured out through the open doors.

Bonin said the fire apparently smoldered for some time and there was relatively minor damage inside the business.

The accumulation of smoke, however, worked its way above the ceiling into a shared attic space.

Smoke built up in the attic space, extending to and damaging each of the businesses below.

Chief Bonin said extra crews were called to the scene because of the cold weather and the need to keep his crews warm and rested.

Fire Inspector Damon Robbins said it's important for everyone to remember space heaters can't be left unattended. He said don't leave a room if there's a space heater being used, treat all space heaters like candles, leave a 3 foot clearance around all space heaters and don't plug space heaters into extension cords.

Robbins said the reason you can't plug it into an extension cord, is because the wattage running through the cord can cause it to overheat and catch on fire.