2-alarm fire badly damages historic building in Tucson

2-alarm fire badly damages historic building in Tucson

2-alarm fire badly damages historic building in Tucson

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on January 1, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 12 at 3:27 PM

Map: 100 E. Congress

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TUCSON -- Investigators are trying to determine what sparked a two-alarm fire that badly damaged a historic building in downtown Tucson early New Year's Day.

Firefighters were dispatched at 3:26 a.m. Tuesday and were on the scene in the 100 block of East Congress just three minutes later.

Two people had called 911 to report heavy smoke pouring off the Wig-O-Rama building.

Because the roof of the building was so unstable, crews tried to fight the fire from the inside but the flames had already moved into the attic.

Changing their strategy to go defense, firefighters made their way back outside after determining that the building was empty.

A pair of ladder trucks was set up to dump water on the fire from above. Pumping out more than 700 gallons/minute, those trucks were able to knock down the stubborn flames relatively quickly.

According Capt. Barrett Baker of the Tucson Fire Department, the roof was badly damaged. In addition, several air-conditioning units fell through the roof, which could have been disastrous had firefighters been in the building.

Not one of the 40 firefighters sent to the scene was hurt.

At this point, there is no damage estimate and no obvious indication of how and where the fire started. investigators are just beginning their work.

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