Fire destroyed a garage and damaged two vehicles on Frederick Point Road east of Petersburg early Saturday morning.
Petersburg Volunteer Fire Department spokesman Dave Berg said police dispatch received a call reporting a garage fire around 4:30 Saturday morning on the Frederick Point road at 2.75 mile of that road.
“So we dispatched the fire department to the scene, three officers and two engines and our squad, our utility vehicle truck went out onto the scene and we found a fully engulfed shed and a couple of cars that were parked across the driveway, a truck and a car, that were involved in this incident,” Berg said. “Fortunately the house was a little bit aways from the garage and the wind helped us out a lot because the wind was keeping the fire away from the house.”
Firefighters were able to string lines from fire hydrants that were well away from the scene and put out the blaze in what was left of the garage. Berg says that building was burnt to the ground and both nearby vehicles caught fire and were likely totaled by the blaze. The nearby home only suffered some siding damage but was not otherwise burned. Two residents were in the nearby home and reported the fire.
“The culprit turned out to be some heat tape that was in the ground underneath some tomato beds, heating the ground so that the tomatoes would grow,” Berg said. “And that heat tape if you read the directions on it cannot be crossed over itself because it creates hot spots and eventually melts the insulation and we suspect that’s what caused the fire was heat tape buried in the ground underneath this raised tomato bed.”
Berg said volunteers were on scene for about an hour.