Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Tue, February 21 2012 at 4:40 PM, Updated: Tue, February 21 2012 at 4:57 PM
A fire damaged a Klamath Falls auto shop late Monday night, and investigators say the fire may have been started intentionally.
Mike Dukes of the Daceco auto shop has been busy today...
"Trying to get this place secured, and get it cleaned up."
The fire was reported just before 11 Monday night. Tom Morehouse of Klamath County Fire District #1 says the fire began in an area at the rear of the building.
"We've got a couple of trailers with what looks like some used tires that is where the main part of the fire was."
Firefighters checked the building thoroughly to make sure the fire didn't spread. Investigators say the fire was human caused... but they can't say if it was accidental, or intentional.
Investigator Scott Rice notes that several arson fires were reported in the same general area late last year.
"We don't know if we have just a happenstance, or if we have a second person that's involved with a lot of these fires - but there is a suspicion around that."
Damage was limited to about 5000 dollars thanks to a quick response... and Mike Dukes is thankful.
"Yes - the fire department did a very good job - I was very proud of them."
There were no injuries reported as a result of the fire.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, and the auto shop is still open for business.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.