Gas, Tools May Have Started Fire on Orrcrest Drive

A dropped gas can may have led to a garage fire in north Reno Friday morning, reigniting the debate over closing fire stations to save money. Butch Torstenson says he was on a ladder in his garage on Orrcrest Drive around 11:00 AM. As he reached for something he says he accidentally knocked over a gas can, then a tool box which sparked an explosion.

Neighbor Michael Lennon says he heard the first boom and tried to call for help, but was put on hold. “Even when I dialed 911 I had to wait 2 times,” says Lennon. He wonders if the recent closure of Reno’s Fire Station 10, which was close to the neighborhood may have contributed to his delay in reaching help.

Torstenson’s wife, Anna McCormick was at work when she was called about the fire. Assured that he was safe, she had only one other concern, rescuing pictures of her daughter Patty, who died of melanoma last year. Fire crews were successful in that mission. They were able to restrict the bulk of the damage to the garage and it's likely the home can eventually be restored.

Regarding response times, McCormick says she's satisfied with the outcome. “I don't know how quickly they got here,” she said “but I'm so grateful that it didn't get to the interior and my daughter's pictures, I don't care. I’m just grateful for the help.”

The Reno Fire Department could not be reached for comment regarding the actual response time on this call, or the status of the investigation into the cause.

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