Storage yard goes up in flames at Mondus Sports
Arson is the suspected cause of a fire that damaged 20 or more recreational vehicles - including ATVs, motorcycles and personal watercraft - at Mondus Motor Sports early Friday morning.
The equipment that burned was in a fenced outdoor storage yard on the back side of the Mondus building at 1401 Gateway Circle.
A company that monitors the alarm system at the motorcycle and ATV dealership notified authorities of the blaze at 3:51 a.m.
"This was a spectacular fire. We had oil drums and a propane cyclinder exploding," said Dan Roeglin, assistant chief and investigator for the Hudson Fire Department.
Roeglin said firefighters heard the percussions from explosions of waste motor oil drums and a 100-pound propane cylinder as they approached the Mondus building, located just west of the Menards store. Another of the 55-gallon drums exploded - and sent firefighters running - when they were on the scene, he said.
Some of the ATVs damaged were new and stacked in crates, according to Roeglin. He said a couple of storage racks containing vehicles collapsed as well.
Roeglin estimated that the fire did $250,000 worth of damage. He said the damage to the building itself was limited to smoke stains on the back exterior wall.
Detective Shawn Pettee of the Hudson Police Department said a fire expert called to investigate was unable to establish how the fire could have started accidentally, leading authorities to believe it was set intentionally.
Pettee asked that anyone with information about how the fire started call him at (715) 386-4771.
Randy Hanson can be reached at email@example.com