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Archive for Tuesday, November 18, 1997

OTTAWA FIRE CONTINUES TO SMOLDER

November 18, 1997

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— A fire in an Ottawa plastics manufacturing plant continued to smolder Monday night, more than 24 hours after it began.

Firefighters were called about 8 p.m. Sunday to the fire at Laich Industries, 1550 N. Davis Ave., on the northeast side of town.

The warehouse in which the fire was located contained an estimated 200,000 cardboard boxes and thousands of plastic coat hangers and baskets, said Ottawa City Commissioner Blaine Finch, who was at the scene part of the day on Monday.

"When the fire first started, the building's sprinkler system came on like it was supposed to," Finch said. "But then the bottoms of the boxes got wet and other boxes fell on top. It's basically a massive cardboard box volcano in there."

There were no injuries in the fire.

Finch said firefighters nearly had the blaze extinguished Monday afternoon, but it rekindled.

Firefighters planned on waiting for daylight today before attempting to put out the fire, he said.

The building itself has not been damaged by fire, Finch said.

"The fire department has done a great job keeping the building intact," he said.

A cause of the fire has not been determined.

Laich Industries, which employs 52 people, makes plastic coat hangers and baskets.

The owner of the company, whose name was not immediately available, was en route to the scene from Iowa on Monday night, Finch said.

-- Mike Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is dekker@ljworld.com.

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