The Pana Police Department were sent for a structure fire with smoke showing. Pana Fire arrived on scene to find heavy smoke coming from the 100’X60’ metal building at Cherry’s Auto Repair in Pana.
Firefighters cut metal overhead doors to gain entry to the structure. The fire had started in the center office are of the building and had spread to the west. The west end of the building was an auto repair shop.
The center was office space with storage built above it and the east end was an auto body shop and paint booth. The owner advised Pana Command that there were several 5 gallon cans of paint thinner stored above the office. Chief Bland instructed firefighters to stay out of the structure in the office area until the building was ventilated and the condition of those cans could be confirmed.
Entry holes were cut in overhead doors on both sides of the office and attack was made through them. A third overhead door on the northwest side was cut open for ventilation. Once this was established, firefighters entered the building on the southwest and advanced to the upper storage area. An under control was called and overhaul began.
An engine and manpower was requested from Tower Hill and an air fill station from Nokomis.
Pana had 23 firefighters on scene within 10 minutes of them being called and an additional 8 to 10 from the surrounding towns. Chief Bland stated that, sometimes, Holidays call for men to travel out of town to be with families, but the turn out was great.
Investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the insurance company were on scene the next day and determined that the fire did start in the office on a desk from a printer or the cord of the printer. No one was injured and firefighters were on scene for around two hours.