Jaycees fire very suspicious'
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Tim Leeds Havre Daily News [email protected]
The Havre fire chief said this morning the cause of the blaze that destroyed the Jaycees' fireworks booth is still under investigation,"but right now the fire appears to be very suspicious.” “There's always that possibility (that it was started by other causes,” Chief Dave Sheppard said. The Jaycees use the proceeds from the sales at the booth to fund its annual Fourth of July community fireworks display. The Jaycees say that, with the loss of their fundraiser, they are counting on support from the community to help pay for this year's display. The fire department responded to a report at 4:27 a.m. that the booth, located on the southern edge of the Holiday Village Mall parking lot, was on fire. Jaycee Jason Murri, who puts on the annual Independence Day fireworks display for the organization, arrived at the scene about 4:40 a.m. He said Tuesday morning that when he arrived he could hear fireworks going off, and when a door was broken open by firefighters smoke poured out and he could hear and see more fireworks exploding. The roof of the booth soon collapsed and flames started burning through the Walls, Murri said. By 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, the flames were out and firefighters were working to cool hot spots in what remained of the booth. The contents were a total loss. Sheppard said that this morning the exact cause was unknown and could have been accidental, such as an electrical problem, but that did not seem likely. “They had an extension cord that ran to the stand, so there is that chance, but I don't believe that is the cause,” he said. Sheppard said he may have more information later today, but declined to comment on specifics of the investigation. “It is ongoing, and we have a couple of avenues we are pursuing,” he said.