Fire Closes Adventure Sports Business

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A Saturday evening fire completely destroyed a small business in Payson.

Manzanita Adventure Sports, 403 S. Ash caught on fire shortly after 8 p.m.

Payson Battalion Fire Chief Tom Fife said five departments responded to the two-alarm fire.

The five departments were from Payson, Diamond Star, Beaver Valley, Pine-Strawberry, Whispering Pines and Houston Mesa.

Fife said the PFD arrived at the location at 8:29 p.m. and had the fire extinguished by 9:07 p.m.

He said the cause of the fire, which started in an inside office, is still under investigation.

He said the structure of the metal building was not a total loss, but added the contents inside were destroyed due to the heat, which was increased by the metal.

He said the fire, by the time his department arrived, had been going on for a while.

Fife said the fire was contained to Manzanita Adventure Sports, so there was no need for any evacuations.

He said the fire was a pretty major one for the owner of the business as it resulted in a total loss of inventory.

"I would classify it as a major event," he said.

Rosie Buchea, a neighbor, saw the building catch on fire.

She said she and her neighbors could smell the smoke before seeing the flames, adding she thinks it was an electrical fire.

Buchea said she heard the building sizzling, and added it got louder and louder before a flame shot up the side of the structure.

"It sounded like it was going to blow up," she said.

Buchea also said she and her husband moved their vehicles because of the fire, not knowing if there was going to be an explosion.

"Our house was 30 feet from the side of the building (on fire)," she said. "You could smell it."

She said other businesses and homes in the area were never in danger, but added one of the fire trucks on the scene was parked in front of her home.

"(The fire) never left the building area," she said. "When it made that sizzling sound, flames were six feet from the building, but they died down."

She said the sad thing about the fire was the building had only been up for about a year.

"You can tell the whole place is ruined," she said.

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