Goshen News, Goshen, IN

January 18, 2013

UPDATE: Extra firefighters called in to battle blaze at Gleason Industrial Products


THE GOSHEN NEWS

— GOSHEN — Fire caused heavy damage to a factory building located along East Madison Street in Goshen Thursday.

According to Goshen Fire Chief Dan Sink, the Goshen Fire Department received a call at around 12:08 p.m. Tuesday that smoke and flames were showing at the Gleason Industrial Products building located just to the west of the Goshen High School campus.

Bill Malone, owner of Gleason Industrial Products, said there were approximately 22 employees working at the facility at the time of the fire. Gleason Industrial manufactures weather caps, or exhaust caps, for tractors and other large industrial equipment.

“They’re the caps you see on the exhaust pipes of tractors to keep the weather out,” Malone said as he stood watching firefighters work on the east side of the building along the railroad tracks. The manufacture of the caps requires the use of large, hot-burning ovens — which according to Sink may have been involved in the origin of the fire.

“There are a lot of issues here,” Sink said of the scene, noting that he had to call in a dozen off-duty firefighters to help get the blaze under control. “We’re not sure of the cause and origin yet. Wherever it started, it got into the roof and got into the sidewalls and the sides of the oven. So, we were working in three different areas with the crews — the roof, the interior crew and the outside crews — trying to get at it.”

Malone said he believes insulation in one of the walls close to an oven caught fire. He also said the structure’s firewall construction halted the spread of the blaze.

“It couldn’t spread any further than just right here,” Malone said.

Sink said he hadn’t heard any reports of injuries either to firefighters or employees in connection with the blaze.

Still at the scene at around 1:45 p.m., Goshen firefighters had successfully extinguished most of the blaze and were working to make sure it was contained and did not spread to any other areas of the factory.

“We’ve got guys on the roof still working at pulling back roof,” Sink said. “We’ve got guys inside pulling back wall, and we’re just working to make sure we’ve got everything out before we leave.”