Investigators pinpoint fire origin, but not cause

Sweet Home Fire and Ambulance District investigators determined that a fire at 1218 Main St. on Feb. 1 started in an alcove on the east end of the building where a bucket seat was sitting.

Firefighters responded to find the building in flames, which had been noticed by a patron at the Final Frontier, located nearby.

The fire may have started from a dropped cigarette butt or it could have been set deliberately, said Fire Chief Mike Beaver. More than likely, the exact cause will never be known, he said.

The fire climbed the exterior of the building and was inside the upper story walls, Beaver said. Firefighters had to remove 60 years of siding and layers of roofing to get at the blaze, which never became large.

“Thank heaven it was on the outside and not on the inside,” he said. If it were, it could easily have taken out four buildings in the block. When those buildings were constructed, there was no requirement for a fire stop.

The building is owned by White’s Electronics. It was built in 1942. The building has been empty for several years.

Firefighters responded to a report of the fire at about 10:45 p.m.