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Electrical fire damages Nolan fish tank


Greg Knight

The Wrangell Volunteer Fire Department spent a better part of the early hours of Sunday, Dec. 23 cleaning up the Nolan Center after a smoldering electrical fire damaged the fish tank on display near the museum.

An electrical fire in the fish tank at the James and Elsie Nolan Center caused smoke but did no real damage to the building or its artifacts early last week.

The smoldering fire, which originated in the light ballast of the tank, began sometime before five o’clock in the morning on Sunday, Dec. 23 and created enough smoke that the Nolan Center’s fire detection system was triggered.

“After the fire system was engaged, it sent a call out to the monitoring service in Juneau,” said Wrangell Volunteer Fire Department chief Tim Buness. “They then called 911 and we responded to the location.”

According to Buness, a significant amount of heat was generated by the fire and melted plastic causing a second, lesser fire to start near the tank. The glass on the tank also cracked and forced firefighters to form a bucket brigade to remove water from the tank.

The tank was subsequently removed due to damage. Buness added that no fish were harmed in the fire and that they were moved to another location in Wrangell.

Twenty firefighters and emergency personnel were involved in the incident.


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