Archive for Thursday, December 28, 2006

Garage destroyed; holiday spirit isn’t

December 28, 2006

Even an early afternoon fire Tuesday couldn't put a stop to the Brungardt's well-known Christmas decoration display.

"Oh, yeah, the lights are on," Mike Brungardt said about 7 p.m. Tuesday. "All the lights went on like always. Well, two hours late. They had pulled the plug on them."

Brungardt has decorated the yard at 920 Grove with numerous Christmas displays over the years, including a ferris wheel that takes various Christmas "players" for a ride. There are tons of lights, too.

But, that was all in limbo when a fire gutted Brungardt's garage around 2 p.m. Tuesday. Luckily, there was a quick response to the day-time fire and plenty of fire fighters. They were able to keep the fire in the unattached garage from spreading to the house too much.

"Good response and good turnout, too," said Fire Chief Allen Craig. "It's the holidays. I was off and so were a lot of the others. We had three trucks and plenty of people."

The call came in at 1:58 p.m. and the fire was under control by 2:09 p.m.

"Wow, that's only 10 minutes," said Craig. "Everything worked."

That included the return of the Christmas display. Craig and a State Fire Marshal were inspecting for causes into the evening. Brungardt and his wife, Mary, were sitting in a car watching them.

"The fire marshal and the fire chief were there and -- you'll never believe it -- the ferris wheel came on," said Brungardt.

The fire destroyed the garage, which had tools and other items in it, and did some damage to the east side of the house's roof. Craig estimated damage at $30,000. As for cause, it was electrical, but the fire officials couldn't pin point the electrical problem. It's unknown if the Christmas lights had anything to do with the fire, but it was the middle of the day and they weren't on.

"That's exactly right," said Brungardt. "But, they don't know and I don't know what it was."

A neighbor discovered the fire and alerted Brungardt, who was taking a nap.

"I heard him come in the door and he hollered, 'Mike, your garage is on fire,'" he said.

Brungardt's 4-month-old Labrador, Shadow, was in the garage. He heard the dog yelp once and went in after him.

"I got Shadow out and he was unconscious," said Brungardt. "I worked on him and he came around."

Later, Shadow was taken to a veterinarian and was determined to be fine.

Both Brungardt and Craig said it could have been worse.

"It could have been 3 o'clock in the morning," said Craig. "Yeah, it could have been worse. But, the neighbor saw it."

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