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Road Near Site Of Cary Gardening Center Fire Re-Opens To Traffic

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CARY, N.C. — The road leading to the site of a gardening center fire has re-opened to traffic Wednesday afternoon.

Old Apex Road is once again open from Marilyn Circle to West Chatham Street in Cary. The area had been closed after a fire at the Garden Supply Co. Tuesday afternoon. While battling the blaze, firefighters Todd Dollar and Tim Gouge were injured when the ladder on their truck collapsed.

Fire officials say the top rails and beams on the ladder fractured, dropping both firefighters to the ground.

Engineers checked out the truck Wednesday morning trying to find out what caused parts of the steel ladder to shear.

"For it to fail in this particular place at the base section on it is basically unheard of because usually that's the strongest point on a ladder," said Cary Fire Chief M.W. House.

The Cary fire department has two aerial trucks. The one that failed was the newest, and it had been used often.

"We train on it weekly and certainly use it when we need it on the scene," said Todd Wright, division chief for the Cary Fire Department.

The company that built the truck says there have been no reports of failures like this.

Wednesday afternoon, two big cranes were used to level the ladder as it was slowly pulled back into the truck. The fire truck will go back to a Wisconsin factory where it will be outfitted with a new aerial ladder.

Both Dollar and Gouge were taken to Western Wake Medical Center with minor injuries. They were released Wednesday afternoon.

No one from the garden center was hurt in the fire.

The fire was brought under control before 4 p.m. Tuesday, but a good portion of the business was destroyed.

Cary officials have not determined what caused the fire. The owner of the business believes it was caused by an electrical problem.

Officials say the damage could take days to clean up.


Terry Cantrell, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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