The Washington Fire Department has concluded its part of the investigation into the Hixon Towing business fire while insurance providers still have a joint investigation underway.
According to Washington Fire Department Chief Tim Downing, the fire was ruled as accidental although the cause remains undetermined. While the department does have theories on what could have been the cause, they lack the resources to test specific equipment.
The fire at Hixon Towing, located at 309 W. Temple St. in Washington Court House, happened on Friday, July 26. The owner of Hixon Towing, Jerry Hixon, received injuries to his right hand. No other injuries were reported although a dog belonging to Jerry’s granddaughter was transported to the vet where he made a recovery.
Downing said the insurance investigators do have the tools to better determine what the exact cause of the fire was.
“There is a potential for lawsuits if equipment failed. We don’t want to make a mistake that would stop someone from getting the justice they deserve,” said Downing. “We also don’t want to falsely label equipment as failing.”
Downing explained that a lot more consideration goes into fire scenes than people realize.
“We don’t want to spoil the evidence ourselves for the insurance investigators,” he said.
During the fire, there were many groups of people working together on or near the scene: firefighters, EMS, Scene Support Box 65, employees of Hixon Towing, family members of Jerry Hixon, bystanders, the Fayette Regional Humane Society, the street crew, the water crew and local law enforcement.
Downing said that law enforcement helped a great deal with keeping traffic redirected and the water crew made sure they had enough water.
“Everybody pitched in. A fire scene takes a whole community to work together to resolve the situation. Everybody stops by and helps out—it’s a community effort.”
Downing explained that he hopes to have an answer soon as to the cause of the fire so he can help educate the community in efforts to prevent other fires.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.