Cause of garage fire uncertain after initial investigation

The initial investigation of a fire that destroyed a car garage on Taylor Street Sunday has been concluded, according to a press release from David Bachman, City of Manistee public safety director. The fire started near a grounding wire in the garage and is probable it was caused by the use of a welder operated by a private contractor thawing a frozen water line near the property.

An initial investigation by the City of Manistee fire department released Friday documented the cause of the a fire on Taylor Street in Manistee Sunday. The fire, which destroyed a garage containing many classic cars and equipment, started near a grounding wire in the garage and is probable to have been caused by the use of a welder operated by a private contractor thawing a frozen water line. (Sean Bradley/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — A fire on the 100 block of Taylor Street Sunday could have been caused by the use of a welder thawing a frozen water line.

“The fire started near a grounding wire in the structure near an interior wall,” said David Bachman, City of Manistee public safety director, in a press release. “It is probable that the cause of the fire was the use of a welder operated by a private contractor thawing a frozen water line at an adjacent property.”

However, Bachman said the fire’s cause has yet to be determined with 100 percent certainty.

He also said the investigation by electrical engineers hired by the insurance companies will continue to try and identify the cause of the fire with greater certainty.

Investigators from the Michigan State Police, Manistee City Police and the property owner’s insurance company examined the scene of the fire.

No one was injured in the fire, which destroyed a car garage owned by Manistee resident Dave Kelley. The garage contained many of Kelley’s classic cars, tools and Manistee-area memorabilia.

No further information is being released at this time, including the name of the contractor.

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Posted by Sean Bradley

Sean is the city and cops and courts reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the entertainment and Reasons to Celebrate pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3109 or sbradley@pioneergroup.com.

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