Welding spark apparently sets garage afire in Delhi

A spark from a welder was the likely cause of a garage fire Sunday at a residence on the 14800 block of South Avenue in Delhi, according to investigators with CalFire/Merced County Fire Department.

Although one man was taken to the hospital for possible minor smoke inhalation, no one else was hurt, according to Battalion Chief Kevin Lawson.

The fire was reported at 3:45 p.m. and contained in about 35 minutes. Lawson said a male resident at the home had been using a welder in the garage to fix a muffler. The fire started after the man had briefly walked away from the garage, Lawson said.

The garage was a long metal structure behind the home, about 100 feet long and 30 feet wide. Lawson said the structure contained a variety of tools and equipment, much of which was destroyed in the fire.

Smoke poured out of the garage, as firefighters fought the flames. Despite the damage, however, the metal shell of the structure remained standing.

Even though campers and vehicles were in the area nearby the garage, Lawson said firefighters were able to confine the fire to its area of origin.

Around 28 full-time and volunteer firefighters responded to the scene. Four engines and three water tenders were used to fight the blaze.