Firefighters' quick response saves business

Thursday, August 28, 2008
Pierson's Package Store in Golden was destroyed by fire early Monday morning. A quick response by every Eagle Rock-Golden-Mano firefighter contained the blaze to the liquor store. The adjacent Office Pub and Restaurant suffered only minor smoke damage. Photo by Chip Ford

With 100 percent of Eagle Rock-Golden-Mano's firefighting crew responding within minutes of the initial fire call, an area business was saved from total destruction early Monday morning.

According to ERGM Fire Chief Ron Creek, the fire protection district was dispatched to a fire at the Pierson's Package Store at 12:45 a.m. on Aug. 25. When firefighters arrived on the scene, they found flames shooting up through the roof in the back of the liquor store.

"The fire had a good head start on us," said Creek, "but we had a terrific response and were there within four minutes."

Firefighters immediately pulled two lines from the engine and attacked the fire from the front and back of the store, Creek said.

Due to this plan of attack, the fire was contained to the liquor store and did not spread to the attached Office Pub and Restaurant.

"I told my men I was proud of them," said Creek. "The buildings had a common attic and the fire should have burned the whole place up, but my guys made a good stop."

Pierson's Package store is a total loss but the bar and restaurant suffered only minor smoke damage. No one was injured in the fire. According to Creek, Mike Pierson and his wife, Pam Stiles, who own the business, estimate their loss will exceed $200,000.

Holiday Island (Ark.) Fire Department was called in to assist with the fire, joining the 35 fire district personnel who were already on scene. The nearby fire department responded with a tanker truck for extra water and four firefighters.

The fire has been ruled accidental, but Creek said he was unable to determine the exact origin of the fire. He believes the fire broke out in the storage area around the refrigerator and was most likely caused by a short in the electric cord or a problem with the refrigerator's electric motor.

ERGM firefighters, who remained at the fire scene for four hours, were dispatched by the Barry County E-911 Center in Cassville.

"Overall, it was just an incredible response by everybody involved," added Creek.

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