A fire at Reddi Mart early this morning had the potential to be much worse. Nevertheless, the convenience store and its attached laundromat will be closed indefinitely following a small fire caused by a combusted rag.
The incident originated inside a hamper on the laundromat side of the building. Fire Chief Dave Balding ruled out the possibility of the fire being caused by electrical means, although the full details of the fire remain under investigation.
Golden Fire and Rescue received the emergency call around 1:30 a.m. from a passing cyclist who noticed smoke billowing inside the building.
The department responded with two trucks and 12 crew members. The rags were quickly removed from the building and brought outside to the parking area in front of the store. The higher oxygen level outdoors caused the rags to burst into flames, but that was quickly extinguished by the crew.
Balding says it is hard to speculate what the damage might have looked like if it hadn’t been for the cyclist’s call, but did say it could have been much worse if left undetected.
“I think we should recognize the vigilance of that passer-by and kudos for raising the alarm,” Balding said, adding that while there is no requirement for businesses like Reddi Mart to have a smoke alarm, there are always benefits to having them in circumstances such as these.
Reddi Mart manager Riki Routley commended the department for its quick action.
“It’s incredible how quickly they were here,” she said.
While damage to the structure was ultimately minimal, the store and the laundromat will be closed indefinitely for clean up.