CLEVELAND - Cleveland firefighters have a Triple 3 Alarm fire involving a ruptured gas line in the basement of a building on W. 6th under control after battling it Sunday morning.
W. 6th was shut down from Lakeside to St. Clair as fire companies worked to contain the fire in the basement of 1266 W. 6th St., where Rumor Night Club is located. Cleveland fire says it is unclear at this time whether the ruptured gas line caused the fire or if the fire caused the gas line to rupture.
Companies rotating out as needed. Rapid Intervention Team stands ready. A lot going on at a Triple 3 Alarm downtown. pic.twitter.com/rs4AddlmiM
The fire department said it had a difficult time getting to the gas lines to shut off the gas to the building because of the ice on the sidewalks. Cleveland Fire Department Public Information Officer Mike Norman said firefighters had to use a blowtorch to get to the opening to shut off the gas.
Firefighters say it does not appear anyone was in the building at the time.
Two mayday calls were made as firefighters worked to contain the situation. One firefighter ran out of oxygen while in the basement, according to Norman. He was able to get safely out of the building and did not suffer any major injuries. The second mayday call was for a firefighter who fell halfway through the first floor. He was stopped by the pipes and beams and the flooring and was brought to safety without injury.
The rapid intervention team, "RIT," was on scene ready to give immediate assistance so that neither firefighter needed to be transported to the hospital.
Cleveland Fire Chief Angelo Calvillo said maydays are serious situations, especially when dealing with big structures, such as this one.
Fighting the freezing cold to get access to the gas shutoff. Mayday called for firefighter low on air. He is safely out. Companies working. pic.twitter.com/xYzM0GCHC8
Chief Calvillo says more than 60 firefighters worked to put out the fire under what he says was "tough conditions." He said dealing with gas fed fires, as this one appeared to be, is dangerous, because there is a potential for an explosion.
Chief Calvillo said the cold weather was another dangerous factor. In dealing with this fire, crews were challenged as two fire hydrants were frozen. Calvillo also said the water around the working hydrants can freeze up in the cold, making the area around it like an ice rink, which is dangerous for the firefighters going in and out of the building.
Norman said there was water and flooding damage to the basement of th building and some smoke damage to the first floor of Rumor. He said he does not believe there was any damage to the second floor, which holds office space, or the third floor, which holds residencies.
Dominion Gas was on scene to investigate and at last check, the gas and electric to the building were still shut off. Dominion said the mail line and service line checked out okay.
American Red Cross was also on scene.
Occupants to the building will be able to return as soon as the scene is cleared.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Dominion Gas and fire investigators will continue working Monday to try and pinpoint the cause of the fire.