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Vehicle fire in the Ameristar parking garage proved hard to contain



Security walks by the flaming vehicle in the Ameristar garage. Photo by David Day

Just before 8 p.m. on Saturday night, a vehicle fire was reported on the 4th and 5th floor of the Ameristar Casino parking garage.

The Vicksburg Daily News was on the scene with the first law enforcement unit and was able to live-stream the event from arrival to the conclusion. The SUV was on the 5th level and the 4th level was opposite the SUV in the parking garage.

The Volkswagon SUV with a California plate was 1/3 involved when the Vicksburg Daily News arrived on the scene. Cody Tapp with Ameristar reported that a couple of tires had blown prior to our arrival. Tapp and co-worker Bill Carnesi had attempted to extinguish the fire but were unable to contain it with their hand-held fire extinguishers.

Cody Tapp with Ameristar worked to put out the fire. Photo by David Day

911 dispatched Battalion 1, Tim Love, Engine 6, Engine 7 and Ladder 14 to the fire along with Rescue.

The firefighters had to haul a firehose up to the 5th level and then charge it with enough pressure to put out the fire. They initially extended 150 feet of hose but called for 100 more. It took about 15 minutes to get that firehose up to the fire and charged after firefighters arrived at the parking garage.

The adjacent vehicles, a Honda and a Nissan, both with Mississippi license plates, took on some fire damage as a result of the fire.

There was a fire sprinkler outlet near the fire but firefighters did not use it. “It’s a dry system,” explained Chief Craig Dancyzk, “that sprinkler line has no water in it. We would have to get to the fire hydrant, connect it to a pumper and then charge the entire sprinkler system in the garage for that sprinkler outlet to have been used.”

Firefighters put out the remaining hotspots from the car fire. Photo by David Day

The Chief went on to commend Battalion 1, Tim Love, by saying “Battalion 1 made the right call in not charging the system. The time it would have taken was far more time than it took to run that hose up to the 5th level. That sprinkler system is designed for a major fire. While this fire may have looked bad, there wasn’t much danger of it spreading beyond the two cars that were already damaged.”

The Honda will be a complete loss. Photo by David Day

The burned out Volkswagon SUV. Photo by David Day

The cause of the fire is unknown but Tapp reported, “It began in the engine area of the car. When we got here with the extinguishers the engine compartment was already fully on fire and our extinguishers knocked it down but it wasn’t enough to put it out.”

Some of the concrete chipped off the ceiling of the parking structure. Photo by David Day

No one was injured and just the three vehicles were damaged in the fire. There was damage to the concrete ceiling above the vehicle.


UPDATE – Chief Danczyk sent over updated information. Firefighters did use the standpipe. “Firefighters uses the connection in the stairwell and proceeded to the vehicles that were located in the middle of the parking structure on the Riverside (Westside). Battalion Chief Tim Love made the right call by establishing the hydrant before charging the standpipe. The “tank water” on the pumper would not have been adequate without the hydrant’s pressure/water(unlimited water).

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