'It had a burn odor like a tire,' restaurant owner says of downtown blaze

Quincy firefighters keep a watchful eye on a fire that broke out at the Fountains Salon and Day Spa, 121 N. Sixth. Investigators determined the blaze was accidental and caused by a small appliance. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)
Posted: Oct. 2, 2012 10:04 am Updated: Nov. 29, 2014 12:17 am

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Gus Papazoglou was cleaning up at Greek to Me, the restaurant he owns at 127 N. Sixth, about 9 p.m. Monday when a waitress walking out the back door told him she saw smoke coming from Fountains Salon and Day Spa, 121 N. Sixth.

"It was getting foggy, and it had a burn odor like a tire," he said. "I never saw any flames. I just saw smoke. I rushed back in and called 911."

Papazoglou called 911 at 9:30 p.m., and Quincy firefighters were on the scene of the fire for two hours.

Quincy Fire Chief Joe Henning said fire investigators determined the blaze was accidental and electrical in nature, caused by a small appliance.

Henning said firefighters were first dispatched to the fire at 9:40 p.m., and the windows were black from the thick smoke inside when they arrived. The fire on the first floor of the building was extinguished within a couple of minutes. Firefighters forced a window open, which caused more smoke to spill onto the street.

"The dispatch was a general (alarm fire), and when he got on scene, the incident commander asked for an additional company," he said. "He didn't go to the second alarm, but when they broke that window and saw that heavy smoke, they went to extra alarm status."

Henning said a general alarm will bring three trucks to the scene, while a second alarm brings an additional engine company to the scene, and seven firefighters are called in to staff reserve trucks at Central Fire Station, Ninth and Vermont.

"Sometimes the incident commander will determine, ‘I just need three extra guys on the scene. No big deal,' " he said. "They'll just call for an extra truck, but not technically go to a second alarm."

Fountains owner Angela Flachs said she received a call about the fire at 10 p.m. She said the salon has been at the site for three years. She employs one other person.

Flachs already has received offers of support from the community.

"I've had a lot of clients calling me this morning to help, and I also had a lady who offered to use her salon until mine gets done," she said.

Firefighters remained on the scene for more than an hour checking the additional two stories of the building to ensure the fire was not inside the walls.

Building owner Dan Griffin said the second and third stories of the building were vacant.

The smell of smoke was prevalent inside Greek to Me, and Domestics, Etc., 119 N. Sixth, also received smoke damage.

Joy Berhorst, owner of Domestics, Etc., said there was a lot of smoke when firefighters opened the door to her business, but she didn't believe there was any fire damage.

Papazoglou said Monday night he was concerned that the smoke damage would force him to get rid of all of the food in his restaurant and that he couldn't open for business Tuesday.

"I hope to God no, but thank God we have insurance," he said.




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