Factory Connection suffers fire, smoke damage

Published 5:00 pm Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A small fire broke out in the basement of Factory Connection in downtown Luverne early Sunday morning, causing heavy smoke damage to the store.

According to Luverne VFD Assistant Fire Chief W.A. Neal, a passerby spotted smoke inside the building Sunday around 7:14 a.m. The smoke was then reported to the Luverne Police Department.

The Luverne Volunteer Fire Department was immediately dispatched to the clothing and retail store.

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“We saw the smoke, entered the building, and located a small fire in the heating/air conditioning unit in the basement,” Neal explained. “An electrical wire had shorted out.”

Neal said the small fire filled the building with smoke.

“We cut the electricity off and ventilated the building after we put the fire out,” he said. “Even though it was a small fire, it produced a lot of smoke.”

“The Rutledge Volunteer Fire Department was also dispatched to assist us because we didn’t know at first just how bad the fire was, and the last thing we wanted was for a fire to spread to the buildings next door,” he said.

The fire department was finished in an hour with the call.

Factory Connection store manager Martha England said that the store is presently closed due to the smoke damage.

“We’ll know more about the situation later this week,” she said. “We’re waiting on the insurance adjustor to come by, and then we’ll know more.”

“It’s such a blessing that nothing else went up and especially that nothing happened to the stores around us, plus the fact that no one was there at the time,” she said. “We’re so grateful that they had all those extra firemen on hand to make sure nothing else happened—it’s just a blessing the way it all turned out.”