Vitamin shop fire had electrical origin

ALBANY — Firefighters responded to a significant blaze late Monday at Bill’s Vitamin and Health Food, 1111 N. Slappey Blvd. According to Battalion Chief Daniel Potter, four firefighting units of the Albany Fire Department, plus a number of support vehicles, were dispatched to the business around 11:40 p.m., when dispatch reported heavy smoke showing from the structure.

The official AFD report states that upon arrival firefighters did encounter smoke after having forced entry to the building through a side door. No victims were found inside the building, the report states, but firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze and to make an initial judgment that the fire began in or near an electrical outlet behind a sales counter. Fire Investigator Sam Harris later confirmed that the fire was electrical in origin, the report stated.

According to the report, the only injury was to a firefighter when a piece or broken glass was sucked through a ventilation fan and struck him on his neck. The firefighter was treated on the scene by EMS, the report stated, and returned to normal duties.

Bill Summerlin, who owns the vitamin business and contents of the building, said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if total damage amounted to “around $250,000.” Summerlin has been leasing the building from his ex-wife, Cathy Summerlin, he said.