Firefighters on Thursday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. responded to a smoke alarm call at the Boot Barn store on the 1000 block of N. Main Street in Liberty.
When firefighters arrived on the scene a few minutes later, they found all of the store’s employees and customers had safely evacuated the store. The smoke that set off the alarm system was mostly limited to an office area in the back of the store and not the actual showroom, according to Liberty Fire Chief Brian Hurst.
“We could hear the electrical wiring arcing. We found it was arcing at one of the inputs into the breaker box. It looks like an elbow leading into the box had broken loose and the wire may have become frayed,” Hurst said. “The arcing went through the metal conduit into the breaker box outside, and then up to the main breaker, and through that it went up to another piece of conduit. It was pretty much impacting the entire building’s electrical system.”
The business office inside Boot Barn sustained some damage because the firefighters had to tear out part of the wall to access the fire. Hurst said power to the building will remain off until the problems are resolved by a licensed electrician.
The fire impacts not only Boot Barn, but World Finance, Freedom Church and Family Dollar.
A silver lining for the fire and power outage is that this incident happened during the middle of the day, Hurst said.
“Had it happened in the middle of the night when no one was around to report it, then we probably would have had a bigger fire to fight,” he said.
Hurst is grateful for the response received from neighboring fire departments in Dayton, Hardin and Hull-Daisetta.
“They all responded with a ton of people and a fairly decent amount of apparatus, and it was appreciated,” Hurst said.