Crews Back on Scene after Massive Factory Fire


Fire at Willoughby Factory 5/18

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WILLOUGHBY, Ohio — Fire crews are back on scene today after a massive three-alarm fire caused extensive damage to a former manufacturing facility in Willoughby Saturday.

According to the Willoughby Fire Department, the building at 3911 Ben Hur Ave. was owned by DeMilta Iron and Metal.

The fire was reported by several 911 callers at about 9:45 p.m. Saturday, and by the time firefighters arrived four minutes later, flames were shooting through the roof.

Willoughby Fire Chief Al Zwegat said that as of about 11:30 p.m., the fire was under control.

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

There were several explosions during the fire, due to some landscaping materials stored inside the building by a local company and some vehicles parked near the building were damaged.

Zwegat said the fire did not spread to any other buildings.

Zwegat said there were no evacuations, but that crews were canvassing the area due to any flying ash or debris from the large fire.

There were no reported injuries to civilians or firefighters.

Nearby railroad tracks were shut down due to the fire. Zwegat said several transformers exploded and telephone poles were burned, so utility companies were also working in the area.

Firefighters remained on the scene overnight Friday.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Officials said 80 percent of the building is a total loss.

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