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Fire destroys rural ag shop
More than $200,000 in damage
Investigators with the Tulare County Fire Department believe an electric heating blanket used to keep a dog warm is to blame for a fire that destroyed a building used to store ag equipment Wednesday morning, near Woodville.
The fire started at approximately 9 a.m. in the 17000 block of Avenue 184. Battalion Chief Mike Green said that firefighters arrived to find a 2,400-square-foot metal shop building engulfed in flames.
The metal structure, valued at $122,472, and its contents, at $100,000, were a total loss, according to investigator Kevin Riggi.
Firefighters managed to save an approximate 2,000-square-foot metal storage building, a travel trailer, farm chemicals, a 300-gallon diesel storage tank, and a John Deere tractor — with an estimated value of $300,000.
Green said that the dog stayed inside the shop and his owners used the blanket to keep the dog warm.
“Something caused [the blanket] to short and catch some combustible material which led to the shop,” he said.
The dog was not in the shop when the fire started and nobody was injured as a result of the fire, Green said.