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RAMADI, Iraq (August 26, 2008) – An electrical fire broke out at the Combat Logistics Company 51’s Maintenance Office on Camp Ramadi Aug. 26. After the flames were extinguished by Staff Sgt. Robert J. Marquardt, 30, from Winter Park, Fla., the maintenance chief for CLC-51, Combat Logistics Battalion 5, 1st Marine Logistics Group, the base fire department arrived and conducted an investigation with Task Force Ramadi Safety, who declared the fire was caused when an overloaded circuit overheated electrical wiring in the ceiling. The fire caused damage to the overhead rafters and electrical system. Marines with CLC-51 now have to fix the fire damage and rewire the building for inspection and certification in order to be operational again.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Singsank

Marine extinguishes office fire

26 Aug 2008 | Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Singsank

Marines with Combat Logistics Company 51 engaged in a different kind of fire fight at Camp Ramadi Aug. 26.

When a fire broke out at the CLC-51 Maintenance Office, Marines reacted with speed and intensity to extinguish the blaze before it could spread and engulf the building.

“When I came into work that morning, it smelled like something was burning inside the office; I just assumed someone was using the burn pit right outside,” said Pfc. Gerald M. Montag III, a Marine Corps integrated maintenance management systems chief with CLC-51, Combat Logistics Battalion 5, 1st Marine Logistics Group. “It wasn’t until 11 a.m. when the smell got really strong and I noticed smoke coming out of the ceiling,” said Montag, 21, from Sherwood, Ore.

Montag pulled the electrical breaker as he and the two Marines working with him ran outside to notify Staff Sgt. Robert J. Marquardt, the maintenance chief for CLC-51. Marquardt ran into the office, put out the flames with a fire extinguisher and called the fire department.

While waiting for the fire fighters to arrive, Marquardt and his Marines started evacuating all of the personal weapons, serialized gear and personal belongings from the office.

Shortly after the Marines removed most of the gear from the building, the Camp Ramadi Fire Department arrived. After the fire fighters took over the situation and conducted an investigation with Task Force Ramadi Safety, they declared the fire was caused when an overloaded circuit overheated electrical wiring in the ceiling.

The fire caused damage to the overhead rafters and electrical system. Marines with CLC-51 now have to repair the fire damage and rewire the building for inspection and certification in order to be operational again.

Until the Maintenance Office is serviceable to work in, CLC-51 Marines will be continuing their duties in a temporary building.

“It will be roughly two weeks before we get everything back to normal,” said Marquardt, 30, from Winter Park, Fla. “We will be repairing the fire damage after working hours because we still have our mission to do.”


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