Despite coping with a fire that destroyed three snow plows and heavily damaged four others, Grove City road crews were out in full force Jan. 8 to treat roads following a storm of snow and freezing rain.

"After the fire, we did reach out to several communities for help and the Ohio Department of Transportation has loaned us three dumps/snow plows and we have one on loan from Jackson Township," said Cyndi Fitzpatrick, director of service.

"Our crews were out at 2 a.m. (Jan. 8) and we were able to treat the streets without any problem," she said. "We're really grateful for the assistance we've received from ODOT and the township."

The two-alarm fire Jan. 6 caused "substantial damage to the building and all of its contents," at the service department complex at 3632 Ventura Blvd., Jackson Township Fire Chief Randy Little said.

Seven of the city's large dump truck-snow plows were stored in the building, Fitzpatrick said.

It is unknown whether the four that were heavily damaged can be salvaged, she said.

Other miscellaneous equipment was stored in the building, but its main contents were the seven vehicles, Fitzpatrick said.

"The building is still unsound and unsafe so we haven't been able to get inside it yet," she said Jan. 8.

Fitzpatrick said both ODOT and the township have loaned the equipment on an open-ended basis; the city can use it for as long as needed. The city's insurance will cover any cost of replacing the lost equipment and it has put in its claim, she said.

No people were in the building at the time of the fire, Little said.

The service department's main office was not damaged.

Little estimated the fire caused between $500,000 and $750,000 in damage, although a final tally is still to be determined.

The cause is unknown and the fire is under investigation, he said.

Along with Jackson Township, firefighters from the city of Columbus and Prairie, Franklin and Perry townships responded to the fire.

The fire report came in at 9:21 a.m. Jan. 6 and Jackson Township firefighters were on scene in five minutes, Little said.

The fire was contained by 10:11 a.m., he said.

The morning's arctic weather conditions caused some icing as firefighters applied water to the fire, but street department employees applied salt to surfaces to combat the situation, he said.

"Thankfully, we had no problems with fire hoses or hydrants freezing up," Little said.

"Whenever we respond to a fire in really frigid conditions, we like to have as many firefighters responding as possible so we can rotate through different crews," he said.

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