PHOTO: Spring Hill firefighters combat the intense tire fire Saturday night / Photo courtesy of Spring Hill Fire Department
BY ALEXANDER WILLIS
The Spring Hill Fire Department responded to a fire outbreak at Discount Tire on Main Street Saturday night, which both Spring Hill firefighters and members of the Williamson County Rescue Squad successfully extinguished within a few hours.
The building suffered no major structural damage, and no injuries were reported.
“We get the call a little bit after 8 (p.m.), and when we arrive, sprinkler heads are already activated, and we’ve got a heavy fire in the tires and smoke coming out of the roof,” said Spring Hill Fire Chief Terry Hood. “Where the sprinkler wasn’t putting the fire out, we had active fire between some tires. We spent about two to three hours getting it under control.”
According to Hood, the source of the fire has been determined to be a heat gun that was near some cardboard boxes. A heat gun is sometimes used in the tire installation process, specifically for the installation of wheel weights.
“By the rack of tires we found the trash can, and there’s no other possible cause of ignition there,” Hood said. “When the fire attacked the cord [of the heat gun], it melted away, which caused the wires to short [circuit].”
Hood said the performance of both his firefighters and the Williamson County Rescue Squad was “excellent,” especially considering the dangers tire fires can bring. Tire fires are difficult to extinguish, and release dark smoke that contains dangerous chemicals such as cyanide and sulfur dioxide.
The Discount Tire closed at 6 p.m. on Saturday, and the manager reportedly left the business at around 7 p.m., with Spring Hill Fire receiving a call about smoke roughly an hour afterwards.
The manager at the Spring Hill Discount Tire, Joe Stevens, said he immediately returned to the business after hearing reports of a fire, and feared the worst.
“Honestly, I thought the whole thing burned down,” Stevens said. “When I pulled in, there were already fire trucks here and police officers, thank god they were here. I honestly thought the whole building was going to be down.”
The Discount Tire is temporarily closed, but will be reopened “within a few days,” according to staff.