The fire destroyed a 30-feet by 60-feet metal shop building located on the C.O. "Tuffy" Smith property. An attached apartment separated from the shop by a three-foot roof received only minor damage. No one was home when the blaze started.
Firemen arrived at 12:09 p.m. and were on the scene until 1:41 p.m. according to the incident report. A neighbor heard an explosion and saw smoke coming from the Smith's property, Salem Fire Chief Heath Everett said.
Everett said the fire was likely started by an air compressor that was left running. He said there was a wood stove in the building but it did not have a fire in it that day.
Everett said the explosion the neighbor heard was probably caused by the air compressor or one of the 55-gallon barrels of waste oil that was in the shop. The shop also contained tools, a tractor and a wielder.
Everett said the roof of the shop was already caving in when the firemen arrived. He said they concentrated the water on the building containing the apartment to keep it from burning.
The Arkansas Forestry Service was called in to help when part of the fire jumped the road and lit a field on fire.
Everett said the only damage the building containing the apartment received was some blackened roof trim. The home Smith lives in was about 100 yards from the shop, he said.
Six firemen from the Byron Fire Department were also called to bring water to the site. The burning structure was approximately one mile from the nearest water hydrant. Byron fire department brought two tankers and one pumper to the scene. Five thousand gallons of water was used to put out the blaze according to the report.