Fire destroys building, interrupts services in Daegu
January 10, 2014
Daegu, South Korea (Jan. 10, 2014) - The Exchange Mini-mall on USAG Daegu's Camp Walker here was involved in a full scale fire of unknown origin which started in the self-standing facility sometime near 7:30 p.m.
The outlets housed in the Mini-mall, which include the dry cleaner, tailor, computer repair shop and military clothing sales, had already closed for the night when the fire started. No injuries have been reported.
The USAG Daegu Fire Dept. responded quickly to the scene and began attacking the fire after having to break through the front entrance. The age of the facility made this a very difficult fire to fight. The Garrison Fire Dept. activated an in place mutual aid agreement with the Daegu City Jung District Fire Dept. which responded in force on post to assist. Thanks to the professional efforts of the combined departments, the fire did not spread past the initial facility, was under control by about 11 p.m. and completely extinguished by at 3:19 a.m.. Unfortunately, the fairly old building looks to be a complete loss.
As the fire was being fought, smoke drifted up the hill behind the facility necessitating the closure of the FMWR Hilltop Club for the evening, and temporary evacuation of several barracks which are also in the area. Soldiers were able to return once the smoke had cleared.
The installation cable TV, phone and internet nexus is also in the area and power was secured to that building when the fire threatened overhead cables. Residents of Military Family Housing and barracks on Camps Walker, Henry and George lost those services. FMWR, which provides the cable TV, will attempt to get the service re-started, pending an assessment in the morning. Korean service provider LG DACOM, under contract with the Exchange, will assess damages and plan for restoration of internet and phones.
Garrison and Exchange officials will determine what the exact losses are and the way forward over the next few days. This includes an alternate dry cleaning delivery and military clothing sales sites (there is another dry cleaning outlet on Camp Henry, and military clothing sales store in USAG Daegu's Camp Carroll in Waegwan), and the procedures that customers can follow for making claims for any losses.
UPDATE January 16: The Exchange has opened a temporary Military Clothing Sales Store in a mobile Exchange trailer in the Camp Walker Commissary parking lot. Any dry cleaning that was due for return and was not destroyed in the fire will be available for pickup at the Camp Henry dry cleaners. Plans are being made to reconstitute MCSS and dry cleaning (and possibly other vendors) in the old post office building across from Kelly Fitness Center. Anyone who needs to submit a claim for merchandise lost in the fire should contact the 19th ESC Legal Assistance Office on Camp Henry, DSN 768-7693/93. You should be aware that processing of claims will not proceed until the investigation of the fire is complete, most likely near the end of the month.