Firefighters on Thursday extinguished an electrical fire on the roof at the Crossroads Center in the 1300 block of Main Avenue in Durango, allowing businesses and a street to reopen.
The fire, between Jimmy John’s restaurant and Katzin Music & Studios, both at 1316 Main Ave., led to closure of 14th Street between East Third and Main avenues.
The building was evacuated.
The fire, reported at 2:19 p.m., was the result of high-voltage wires that were cut without being de-energized, said Karola Hanks, fire marshal with the Durango Fire Protection District. The wires powered an electrical sign atop a business that has since moved. The wires carried 1,500 volts of electricity, Hanks said.
“That is the issue right there,” she said.
The businesses reopened at 4:19 p.m.
Katzin co-owner Jim Gillapsy said he began smelling smoke about 35 minutes before he stepped outside to investigate. He climbed on the roof and emptied a fire extinguisher on a 1½-foot hole burning in the roof of the vacant storefront between Katzin Music and Jimmy John’s.
The fire started in or near a power box above the vacant suite, said Randy Black, deputy fire chief with the Durango Fire Protection District.
Firefighters used a ladder truck to access the roof and douse the flames. They remained on scene for two hours to inspect the roof and attic.
The evacuations came on $1 sub day at Jimmy John’s. At least a dozen people stood outside the storefront waiting for firefighters to arrive.
Mike Lawrence of Cortez said he heard about the $1 sub deal and took advantage of it at 2 p.m. He and his wife returned after finishing business in town and had planned to buy two more sandwiches for dinner, he said.
Durango resident Micah Schmitt arrived too late to get his sandwich.
“I haven’t eaten since yesterday, so I was really hungry for this,” he said. “I might wait it out, but I might have to go somewhere else to find food because I’m so damn hungry.”