Welding reportedly sparks tire fire in local building

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published October 11, 2019


WARREN — Sparks from a welder inside a Warren business reportedly ignited a tire fire that cast clouds of thick black smoke across Groesbeck Highway, near Toepfer Road, on Oct. 6.

“We had just about every single unit out there,” Warren Fire Chief Tim Morgan said later.

The fire was reported at about 1:22 p.m. at 21415 Groesbeck Highway, listed online as Bulldog Recovery & Towing. Morgan said the department’s battalion chief happened to be driving across Groesbeck when the call came in, so he was first on the scene.

“We did a fast attack at the rear of the building. Smoke was extremely heavy going across Groesbeck,” Morgan said.

Firefighters who entered the building from the back found the burning tires, which explained all the smoke. Engine 3, Engine 2,  Squad 3 and Quint 1 were the first teams to arrive, followed by Truck 4. A total of three squads were eventually sent to the scene.

There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians. However, a dog was rescued from the building and its condition was not known at press time.

“The owners did report a dog inside in the front. At the time, we didn’t go in and get the dog because the fire was still going strong. We didn’t want to add any air from the front of the building to the back,” Morgan said.

Firefighters eventually located the dog, which was reportedly transported to a veterinarian by the owner.

The occupants of the building told firefighters they were arc welding a trailer that they were using to transport old tires. Sparks from the welder reportedly ignited tires in the trailer.