By Rick Palsgrove
A small fire occurred at the Groveport Recreation Center, 7370 Groveport Road, during the late afternoon of Feb. 24, but it did not cause significant damage.
According to Madison Township Fire Chief Jeff Fasone, the pump that runs the “lazy river” in the center’s indoor swimming pool had overheated and had a flame coming from it.
“The power to the recreation center had recently gone out, which was not unusual as we were having high winds around this time,” said Fasone. “Groveport Recreation Director Kyle Lund had extinguished the flame with an extinguisher and isolated the electric going to this pump to prevent it from being energized when the power was restored prior to our arrival.”
Fasone said fire department crews inspected the area with a thermal imaging camera to check for potential heat build up and conducted an investigation.
“Initially, damage was estimated around $500, but estimates are now putting the cost closer to $1,000 to replace this pump,” said Fasone. “The recreation center was closed shortly after this incident, but that had more to do with the power outage as opposed to the damage caused to this pump.”
Fasone said a fire department’s initial investigation focuses on whether arson is suspected and determining the cause and origin of a fire.
“In this case, arson was not determined to be a factor and the fire was electrical in nature,” said Fasone. “The exact cause of an electrical fire is normally determined by an electrician, an insurance investigator or a certified private contractor. The investigation into the exact cause of this fire continues.”
Fasone gave credit to Lund and the recreation center staff for their handling of the emergency.
“Any smoke from the fire was minimal, and most of the remnants of this event were the residue from the discharge of the fire extinguisher,” said Fasone. “No one was injured and the fire was quickly reported and was small enough that it could be addressed by the staff safely with an extinguisher.”