MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- The Combat Center Fire Department and the Provost Marshal’s Office responded to a fire Oct. 23 behind the Marine Corps Exchange.
Flames mounted only 10 to 11 feet high, but the plume of black smoke was clearly visible from a distance, said Josh Sanchez, MCX security.
The fire erupted in an outside storage area near the loading dock behind the exchange.
Two military policemen, Cpl. Francis K. Handley and Lance Cpl. Jeffrey A. Rodgers, noticed the smoke rising from building 1533 at 5:33 P.M. Within two minutes, military police arrived on the scene to secure the area and notify the fire department, according to the military police report.
Upon arriving at the scene, the fire department noticed the fire was contained in the storage area and did not spread beyond the surrounding fence, stated William J. Baumann, assistant fire chief.
The fire department had the fire under control by 5:40 P.M. and completely extinguished five minutes later.
When Walter E. Edwards, MCX security manager received the call about the fire, security was already in the process of evacuating the exchange. But the fire was quickly contained, and security called off the evacuation, said Edwards.
Leaving the pavement scorched, The fire torched an assortment of MCX uniforms, towel and soap dispensers, and dust mops and brooms. It also charred a bench and melted a light and a shopping cart, he said.
The cause of the fire was not determined, stated Baumann in his report.
The fire is not currently under investigation.