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Morning Sun
  • Fires take Vilela building, car on Broadway

  • No one was hurt in two separate fires on Wednesday, but both caused extensive damage.

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  • No one was hurt in two separate fires on Wednesday, but both caused extensive damage.
    The first occurred at Vilela Auto Body Repair on Elm in Pittsburg.
    “Folks in the apartment next door called it in. They saw flames looking in through their window. That’s when they called in,” said Pittsburg interim fire chief Mike Simons.
    The call was made at about 3 a.m., and Simons said the damage was extensive. As of late Wednesday, fire marshals were ruling the fire “undetermined” in origin, but Simons said they had found no evidence of any incendiary activity.
    “Even though it’s undetermined, there was some electrical equipment in the area of the fire origin. We can’t definitively say either way, right now,” Simons said.
    The other fire Wednesday was a car fire that shut down Broadway near the Watco Trail.
    Wayne Hester, Fort Scott, had just left breakfast at Harry’s Cafe shortly before noon.
    “I saw a little smoke,” Hester said. “I wasn’t too sure it was even my car. I wasn’t too worried about it. I wouldn’t have thought it’d would catch fire when I started it up. My breaks quit when I was coming over 10th Street. Smoke started to burn around my feet, and I thought, ‘I’d better get out of here.’ I parked, and soon it was really on fire.”
    The car ended up being engulfed in flames before fire crews could put out the car fire.
    Simons said he believed the fire was electrical in nature and had been whipped up by north winds.
     
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