New Bedford Fire Department was called to a two-alarm commercial fire at 335 Church Street. The building, which houses “Clean Uniforms and More” went up in flames just after 5pm on Saturday. Officials say no one was in the building at the time of the fire. When crews arrived, there was heavy smoke and active sprinklers inside the facility. The New Bedford Fire Chief on scene says the sprinklers made the difference.
New Bedford Engines 9 and 8 are both stationed about a mile away from the scene, but engine 9 didn’t respond. It wasn’t in service Saturday because of budget restrictions. The city saves money with a rotating schedule for closing a station daily for a 24-hour period.
“I would have been happy to have four additional bodies on scene in order to deal with coverage and whatnot, but again I have to deal with the fiscal responsibilities that I’m given. The resources that I’m given I have to work with,” said New Bedford Fire Chief, Michael Gomes. Officials told NBC 10 because of the working sprinkler system Engine 9 not being in service wasn’t really a factor. Investigators believe the fire started in the area of a sorting table and was mostly contained. The cause of the fire remains under investigation but officials are not calling this fire suspicious.