Saturday, September 09, 2000

Fire started in employees' area

By Walt Schaefer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        READING — The fire that destroyed a prefabricated metal building at Rosemont Industries Inc. off West Street here Thursday evening started in a employee break area and locker room in the rear of the building.

[photo] Tim Majors checks damage from Thursday's fire.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
        “We have pinpointed it to that small area in the back. We do not know the cause and we do not want to disturb that area until insurance (and other) investigators arrive,” Fire Chief Kevin Kaiser said Friday.

        Tim Majors, 40, co-owner of the 25-year-old company, said it will take at least 90 days to replace the building and return operations to normal. “Insurance will cover that. The important thing is there was no one inside at the time. No one was hurt or killed.” He said five of the company's 50 employees are assigned to work in the building.

        Damage was set at $400,000 to the building and contents, “but there will be significant other cleanup costs of materials — liquid acidics and caustics” that were washed by fire hoses from the building, the chief said.

        There is little danger to people from the chemicals, unless someone got close to them, the chief said.

        Explosions rocked the area as firefighters from a dozen suburban departments fought to control the blaze, which was spotted and reported at 7:52 p.m. by Police Officer Dan Bressert, who was on patrol.

        The explosions were caused by vapors that built up in drums of chemicals, and propane tanks on equipment that erupted, the fire chief said.

        The fire was fed by building materials and other combustibles. Most of the chemicals themselves, including the acids, are not combustible, the chief said.


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