Santa Paula Times

SPHS vending machine catches fire, cause undetermined but not suspicious

February 05, 2003
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesA fire of undetermined origin - but not suspected to be arson - caused Santa Paula firefighters to respond to the “Campus on the Hill” late Thursday night. According to a fire department official, a circular saw was part of the firefight after the blaze was found to be a vending machine in a protective enclosure.Santa Paula Fire Chief Paul Skeels said firefighters responded to a report of fire to Santa Paula High School, located at the corner of 6th and Santa Paula streets, at 11:25 p.m. on Jan. 30th.Upon arrival firefighters found a “vending machine on fire,” said Chief Skeels.The vending machine, surrounded by a security cage, was located against the outside wall of the school cafeteria on the southern portion of the campus.
“I think it was a Coke machine,” said Chief Skeels. “. . .they put a grill around vending machines to prevent theft,” of the cash as well as the product the vending machine dispenses.The duty engine firefighters had to use a circular saw to cut through the grill’s hinges and access the vending machine to fight the fire, he added.The vending machine’s electrical power was disconnected and the fire extinguished. “The fire cause was undetermined by the report noted that it was possibly the ballast,” that was the cause of the blaze.Chief Skeels noted that although the report on the fire incident does list its cause as being undetermined, it does not indicate that the fire was “suspicious. . .”