Investigators have determined the cause of one of the two fires that broke out in the span of less than 24 hours this week, and Jackson Hole Fire/EMS Fire Marshal Kathy Clay said she is happy to report that she sees no hint of arson in either of them.
“There is no connection amongst them,” she said, “which is always good.”
The first, a blaze that damaged a kitchen at Dornan’s in Moose on Wednesday evening, came from a barbecue smoker being used for a private Nat Geo Wild event that was part of the Jackson Wild Summit.
When kitchen staff opened the smoker, Clay said, flames spread into the hood and grew, fueled by grease. A maintenance worker mostly suppressed the fire with an extinguisher before crews from Jackson Hole Fire/EMS and Grand Teton National Park arrived just after 6 p.m.
“I think this is a good fire extinguisher lesson about how important of a role they can play for people fighting an initial fire,” Clay said. “They can be very effective in either controlling or stopping a fire.”
No one was injured, though the kitchen in the chuckwagon area sustained smoke and fire damage.
Thursday saw another fire, this time at the Forget-Me-Not Thrift Shop on Pearl Avenue. Battalion Chief Brian Coe investigated, but as of press time he had not released his findings. Clay said they had ruled out electrical issues as a possible cause.
The fire sparked in the bathroom of the shop, and employees doused it with buckets of water, mostly extinguishing it, then evacuated before crews arrived. No one was injured.
Firefighters contained the fire to the bathroom, but Millie Parks, co-founder of the shop, said she expects significant smoke damage and will likely hold a fire sale.