Quincy Volunteer Fire Department Chief Robbie Cassou took some time this morning to talk to Plumas News about yesterday’s fire in downtown Quincy that broke out shortly after the noon hour. He said that the structures lost in the fire included the crisis center building, two trailers, an RV and a camper shell. The Quintopia Brewery was destroyed, but some of the equipment remained standing and clothing remnants could be seen in the rubble from the structure that housed props and costumes for the West End Theatre.
“By every indication and eyewitness reports, the fire started in or immediately around the trailer and spread to the Quintopia Brewery and adjacent units,” Cassou said.
He said the fire was one of the worst that he could remember with regards to the amount of black smoke it spewed into the air, and attributed that to the building that housed the crisis center. “It was built decades ago using dense wood and timbers that created the heavy black smoke,” he said.
Cassou said the department’s ladder truck was very instrumental in controlling the spread of the fire and he lauded the efforts of Assistant Chief Frank Carey, who spent most of the day in the truck’s bucket spraying water from high above to prevent it from spreading to neighboring structures. Gotts Power Sports, Subway, the county’s building housing the planning and building departments, as well as the assessor’s office, and other homes on the block were spared.
Cassou also acknowledged the “great support from fire departments responding to the mutual aid call from around the county,” which he said really helped contain the fire and reduce the number of structures that were at risk from being destroyed.
Firefighters addressed hot spots into the night and then began bulldozing the structures to get them away from other buildings. The county sent in a loader to handle the structural debris, and the fire department also hired Wilburn Construction to send in a tractor to reach areas that the loader couldn’t. The county will handle the cleanup beyond that, and the fire department will seek reimbursement from the insurance companies for its part.
Cassou said that four firefighters who went to Plumas District Hospital during the fire —one for a minor wrist injury and the other three for dehydration including Deputy Fire Chief David Windle, who was held overnight for observation. The following morning after being released from the hospital, he recounted what happened.
He said he was buying lunch at Safeway when he heard the tones and headed to the fire. “Because it was hot, I made sure the firefighters were all drinking plenty of water, which I was doing as well,” he said. He remembered taking a break and trying to get out of the sun for a minute. He was sitting on the bumper of a fire rig when he started feeling nauseous and dizzy. “The next thing I remember was being loaded into an ambulance.”