Posts Tagged ‘fire’

Cause of Kent Mill Fire Still Under Investigation

December 7, 2022

The future of a former grain mill devastated by fire last week remains uncertain as investigators continue to seek to find the cause of the Friday blaze.

The investigation involves the Kent Fire Department and the Ohio Fire Marshal’s office.

The fire at the former Star of the West mill complex was reported around 9 a.m. last Friday. Firefighters nearly exhausted all of the water supplies in Kent’s water supply stored in towers.

The city issued a water conservation order and borrowed water from Ravenna.

Firefighters were still on the scene on Monday and North Water Street remained closed to through traffic.

The mill is one of the oldest and most iconic structures in Kent. It sits next to the former Erie Railroad mainline, which is now used by the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway. The mill is on a bluff above the CSX New Castle Division tracks.

Officials have yet to determine the full extend of the damage to the structure.

The mill complex was acquired by Tulips LLC for $405,000 in 2019.

Tulips has said it was planning to convert the property into a mix of businesses and apartments.

Fire Strike Landmark Kent Mill

December 3, 2022

The Star of the West grain mill burning in Kent on Friday. The tracks below are the CSX New Castle Subdivision. (Photograph by Roger Smith and provided via Facebook by David Mangold)

Firefighters said it may be as late as Sunday before they will be able to extinguish a fire that struck the former Star of the West Milling Company grain elevator in Kent on Friday morning.

No injuries were reported in the blaze that began just before 9 a.m.

Kent Fire Chief Bill Myers told reporters that an explosion occurred at the scene about three minutes after firefighters arrived.

A cause of the fire has yet to be determined. Located at 162 N Water Street, the mill is located next to the former Erie Railroad mainline, which is now used by the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway. Fire hoses were stretched across the tracks.

Myers said at one point that firefighters were hindered by water supply issues, which forced firefighters to reduce the use of water.

The City of Kent issued a water conversation notice in an effort to conserve water.

The mill was built in 1879 and has been a fixture in countless photographs made in Kent of railroad operations.

At one time, the mill produced hundreds of millions of pounds of flour.

Firefighters from several Northeast Ohio departments were at the scene battling the fire, including units from Hudson, Stow, Munroe falls, Ravenna, and Tallmadge.

Scott Budzar, owner of Scribbles Coffee, located near the mill, said his businesses and others in the vicinity were forced to close due to the fire. “It’s such a massive structure, too, and iconic,” he said.

The mill was reported to be oldest building still standing in Kent.

“It used European technology, and so it took over and it became very, very successful,” said Sandy Halem, president of the Kent Historical Society. “1879 until 1999, it’s a long time for a continuous business.”

Building owner Manouchehr Salehi told the Record-Courier the building was locked up and no one should have been inside.

Salehi said the fire could change his plans to convert the structure into a multi-use complex that would include businesses and apartments.

“Let’s find out what the damages are,” he said. “The structural integrity completely changes everything.” The mill complex includes nine buildings. It was purchased in 1992 by Star of the West Milling Company of Emmett, Michigan. Mill operations ceased in 2016.

Reward Offered in Connection with Suspicious Beech Grove Shops Fire

May 14, 2021

A $10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for a May 1 fire Amtrak’s Beech Grove shops near Indianapolis.

The blaze destroyed two storage buildings and caused more than $650,000 in damage. There were no injuries and investigators believe the fire may have been intentionally set.

The reward is being offered by Amtrak and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The latter is involved in the case because the shops are a government-owned facility.

Beech Grove Fire Appeared to be Intentional

May 8, 2021

Officials have determined that a fire that destroyed two storage sheds at Amtrak’s Beech Grove Heavy Maintenance Facility near Indianapolis appears to have been intentionally set.

James Pierce, operations chief for the Beech Grove Fire Department, said the two buildings that burned and collapsed were not connected.

“We’re very confident that this was an intentionally set fire. Everything points in that direction,”  he said.

The FBI; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and Amtrak police are among the agencies investigating.

Federal agencies are involved because of the government ownership of the facility. The fire destroyed structures used to store paint and cleaning supplies.

Amtrak Says Fire Won’t Affect Beech Grove Shop Operations

May 4, 2021

Amtrak said on Monday that a fire that destroyed two storage buildings at its Beech Grove shops near Indianapolis will not affect operations of the shop.

The Amtrak spokesman said no rolling stock or locomotives were damaged by the fire.

Firefighters had reported that they were unable to find a working fire hydrant at the shop site and had to run hoses to a nearby street.

However, the Amtrak spokesman said that while the hydrant on Amtrak property that was closest to the fire was dry, other hydrants at the site were operable.

Investigators continue to investigate the cause of the early Sunday morning fire that destroyed two corrugated structures used to store paint and cleaning supplies.

There were no injuries in the fire, which was reported just after 12:30 a.m. and brought under control by 2 a.m.

Fire Destroys Storage Buildings at Beech Grove Shops

May 3, 2021

Two storage buildings at Amtrak’s Beech Grove Heavy Maintenance Facility in suburban Indianapolis were destroyed by fire on Sunday morning.

Firefighters were called just after 12:30 a.m. and had the blazes under control by 2 a.m. No injuries were reported and no cause of the fire has yet been released.

The corrugated buildings were used to store paint and cleaning supplies.

Lack of a working fire hydrant on the Amtrak property hindered firefighting efforts, forcing firefighters to run hoses from nearby Emerson Avenue and use tanker trucks for water supply.

Video of the scene shows P40 No. 822 in its Phase III livery parked outside the buildings where the fire occurred.

Fire Prompts Amtrak Train Evacuation in Michigan

January 23, 2021

A fire aboard Amtrak’s westbound Blue Water on Friday resulted in the evacuation of 49 passengers and crew members.

The fire in the train’s Charger locomotive was reported as the train was passing through Decatur Township in Michigan.  The fire was reported to be small in nature.

The passengers were removed from the train because the head end power had to be switched off and that left the train without any heat.

Amtrak terminated the train at Niles, Michigan, and provided alternative transportation for the displaced passengers to Chicago.

W&LE Shop Fire Damage Put at Nearly $3M

July 18, 2020

A Thursday fire at the Wheeling & Lake Erie shops in Brewster is thought to have started when workers were cutting into the top of a rail car inside the shop.

There were no injuries during the blaze and fire officials said the railroad should be able to reopen the shop once the damage has been cleaned up.

Officials estimated the fire caused between $2 million and $3 million in damage.

The fire was reported at 7:23 p.m. and the last Brewster fire fighters left the scene about 1:30 a.m.

Fire fighters from 23 departments were on the scene during the height of the blaze.

Brewster Fire Chief Village Fire Chief Chris Colucy said reaching the roof of the century old shop building was difficult because ladders available to fire fighters reached only 75 to 100 feet.

“Getting to the roof to extinguish hot spots was probably the toughest part of the thing,” he said.

Heavy smoke was billowing from the roof as fire fighters arrived.

Colucy said at least 20 percent of the roof and ceiling are gone.

The W&LE has brought in a commercial construction company to review the fire damage and determine whether workers can return to their jobs in the shop.

Fire Damages W&LE Brewster Shop

July 17, 2020

Fire damaged a car shop of the Wheeling & Lake Erie in Brewster on Thursday evening.

News reports indicated that the fire was reported at 7:22 p.m. and that fire firefighters from several departments were still on the scene after 10 p.m.

“The car shop is on fire,” said Brewster Mayor Charles Hawk said. “The car shop is part of the railroad. That is where they rebuild cars.”

The blaze sent large black plumes skyward that could be seen for miles in the surrounding area.

It was not clear if the blaze also damaged the adjacent locomotive shop.

No Injuries in CVSR RDC Fire on Sunday

November 16, 2015

No injuries occurred after a Rail Diesel Car on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad caught fire Sunday afternoon.

The fire broke out beneath the car at about 3:30 p.m.

No passengers were in the car or in the car next to it at the time of the fire, which firefighters were able to extinguish shortly after it began.

A video of the fire posted by Fox8 News in Cleveland suggested that it occurred alongside Riverview Road.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.