SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Springfield Fire Department says an early morning fire at a car lot was accidental. Springfield Fire Department officials tell us the fire at 166 Auto Auction House was reported just after 4 a.m. They say the fire destroyed at least half a dozen vehicles and damaged several more.
Fire Marshal Ben Basham says it took the Springfield Fire Department half an hour to gain access to the engulfed vehicles because they were completely enclosed in a locked fence. Basham says they didn’t have a key or any way to unlock the fence. He says the contact information they had for 166 Auto Auction House management was inaccurate adding to the delay of response time. Fire crews had to spray water and foam over the security fence. Investigators looked at security camera footage from the business to determine the fire an accident.
Basham says Knox-Box Systems allow the fire department access into enclosed areas. He says fire code now requires the Knox-Box System for all new construction. It can be installed directly into the building. He says it allows only the fire department to gain access to properties in case of an emergency. Basham says the fire department has the keys for Knox-Box Systems locked away in a safe.
“The Knox system actually allows us to gain entry without management being there so we can have that rapid response without causing any damage to the property. We don’t have to break any doors down, we don’t have to cut any locks or gates, anything of that nature,” said Basham.
Basham says he highly recommends installing a Knox-Box System for commercial businesses and gated communities that don’t have one.