WAYNESFIELD — Fire, EMS, and other personnel from at least 10 separate departments were called to a warehouse fire at about 6:20 p.m. Monday. They were still on the scene after 11 p.m. and one of the firefighters at the scene said they still expected to be there for several more hours.
The fire started in a warehouse building at Lattimer's Warehouse, 15400 state Route 196, Waynesfield. Owner of the business is Todd Fetter.
As of 11 p.m. officials at the scene were unaware of the cause of the fire and were still conducting an investigation. The fire occurred in the Wayne Township Fire Department jurisdiction. Responding for mutual aid were fire departments from Uniopolis, St. Johns, Lakeview, Roundhead, Wapakoneta, New Knoxville, and the Auglaize County Emergency Management Agency because of the rubber in the factory. Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and hazardous materials officials could also be spotted at the scene.
It was reported that a large quantity of rubber and wood caught fire. Auglaize County EMA Director Troy Anderson was directing all non-emergency people at the scene to stay south, out of the path of the smoke from the fire, because of toxicity.
Wayne Township Fire Chief Albert Presnell said the investigation was ongoing and he was not available for more information late Monday.
The New Knoxville Fire Department was contacted for use of a foam truck to aid it putting out the burning rubber, but operations were quickly shut down because the foam was unable to get through the pallets on which the rubber was stored.
At least 50 firefighters and 30 separate emergency vehicles could be counted at the scene.