Massive Factory Fire Ruled Accidental

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Fire at Willoughby Factory 5/18

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio — A three-alarm fire at a former manufacturing facility in Willoughby has been ruled accidental.

The massive blaze broke out around 9:45 p.m on May 18. By the time firefighters arrived four minutes later, flames were shooting through the roof.

Willoughby Fire officials said Friday that the fire was a “direct result of improperly disposed of wearing apparel.” The wearing apparel ignited after the accidental fire started in the compartment of a stored vehicle, which resulted in several explosions.

The building is a total loss. Authorities said the damage is estimated at $700,000.

Willoughby Fire Chief Al Zwegat said the building is owned by DeMilta, but housed a former manufacturing firm. He said it’s been vacant for about 10 years.

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