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Gas spill causes garage fire, damaging siding on 2 houses



Published: Wed, July 11, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



AUSTINTOWN -- It was a domino effect with more than $10,000 worth of consequences.

Wayne Davis was reaching for a table top in the rafters of his garage Tuesday, when he nudged a ladder, spilling the gasoline he had drained from his blue-and-white pontoon boat.

The gas trickled toward a battery charger left on the floor. Davis heard a crackle. Then he started to run.

The garage, set about 30 feet behind his house and containing fuel for Davis' lawn mower, soon was engulfed in flames.

"I went to get the garden hose, turned around, and the fire had blown up in there," he said this morning.

Help arrives: One stranger, then another, both driving past 233 Carnegie Ave., stopped to help Davis pull his boat, the only vehicle in the garage, out to the driveway. Shortly after a 3:48 p.m. 911 phone call, Austintown firefighters arrived and hosed off the garage's charred remains.

The roof had caved in, Davis said, and most of the tools inside were singed. The fire department estimates an $8,000 loss, plus $1,800 damage to his house's vinyl siding, and $150 in heat damage to the upholstered seating in his boat.

A neighbor had $1,000 worth of damage to the vinyl siding of her home, and another neighbor reported a damaged pool cover.

Davis said his insurance likely will cover the damage, but "it's ridiculous what I'm going through right now."

"I was just amazed at how fast it burned," he said. "It was all gone in 10 minutes."




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