State Fire Marshal report released on Scott’s Pump fire

Demolition of burned building underway

After nearly six months, the State Fire Marshal’s Office has released the report on the Scott’s Pump Service fire in Imperial Feb. 16.
    After continued requests over several months, The Imperial Republican this week received the investigative report summary dated July 25.
    While State Fire Marshal Investigator Ryan Sylvester writes in the report that he was unable to conclusively determine the nature of the fire due to absence of an electrical engineering study, he adds, “The possibility that this was an intentionally set fire has not been ruled out.”
    Last week’s release of the report occurred as the burned Scott’s Pump Service building along Highway 61 is being taken down piece by piece by a local contractor.
    Work started on the building’s demolition about two weeks ago. Greg Koellner of Koellner Enterprises said he was hired by owner Scott Moser to take down the building to its cement slab.
    Sylvester’s report includes a lengthy review of the investigator’s actions once he came on scene that morning, arriving shortly after 8 a.m., about two hours after the IVFD was dispatched to the scene.
    Noting the fire damage was limited to the east end of the structure, once he was able to enter the building, Sylvester narrowed his investigation to the mezzanine level above the office.
    He reports interviewing owner Scott Moser, his wife Stephanie and employee James Mandeville “to learn what was in the mezzanine level and to find out what actions were happening in the building prior to the fire.”
    Sylvester writes that Scott Moser’s account of items located in the mezzanine level and their locations was very detailed.  
    Sylvester reports items of interest to him in that area included the presence of gasoline cans just east of the mezzanine doors and a number of 12 volt batteries south of the doors, on the floor.
    Moser told the investigator he had put a charger on one of the batteries for one of the trucks parked outside his building, noting he had set it at a 50 amp charge level.

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