As the sun rose March 13, multiple local fire departments were still hard at work in the aftermath of a blaze in Onslow’s downtown that destroyed two buildings and damaged a handful of others.
The smoke from the wreckage mixed with the fog that descended on the area in the aftermath of a blaze as crews worked to dampen what remained of the buildings.
The call went out around 1 a.m. that a building, owned by Randy and Judy Lange, was engulfed in flames. Both buildings owned by the Langes were lost in the fire and nine other buildings received damage. The neighboring buildings saw smoke damage and the building across the street had its siding melted due to the intensity of the heat from the fire.
“We always had a plan of attack for that building,” Onslow Fire Chief Mike Streeper said. “It was surround and drown, because you’re not going to go inside and save anything. As hot as it was, we weren’t inside (the building).”
The intensity of the burn did not allow crews to get as close as they wanted to the buildings when combatting the fire. Speaking Friday morning, Streeper said there was still an area that was smoking from somewhere in the rubble.
Crews were on the scene until approximately 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night and returned the following morning to put in a couple more hours of work. The Onslow Fire Department was assisted by five other area departments from Wyoming, Olin, Oxford Junction, Center Junction and Cascade.
The fire caused the relocation of the bus stops to outside of town for the morning pickup and impacted the water mains in Wyoming where fire tankers were filling up as they combatted the blaze.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the state fire marshal’s office. On the Country Anything Facebook page, the owners have seen an outpouring of support from the community. They said they hope to have products available as soon as possible, but were waiting for the investigation to conclude.