web page consultants:
|11-29-02: Fire destroys three businesses
|By MARGIE WUEBKER
The Daily Standard
Firefighters from five Mercer County departments battled a barn fire
early Thursday morning. The large structure, which housed three businesses, sustained
The metal building, located at 2840 Mud Pike, was fully engulfed in
flames when trucks and manpower from the Chattanooga, Rockford, Celina, Fort Recovery,
Coldwater and St. Henry fire departments arrived on the scene around 6:30 a.m.
The location was home to C&J Trucking, Sutter Construction and
Kenšs Truck and Trailer Repair - businesses owned by Carl and Judy Sutter, Mike Sutter
and Ken Gehle.
Judy Sutter reportedly spotted flames at the east end of the barn when
she got up to let the family dog out early Thanksgiving morning. The flames spread quickly
and at least one explosion was heard before firefighters arrived.
"We were able to extinguish the flames pretty quickly,"
Chattanooga Fire Chief Doug Brehm told The Daily Standard this morning. "All the
departments worked together as a team and everyone did an excellent job."
Family members quickly moved several semitrailers, two dump trucks and
other pieces of heavy equipment parked close to the building. Amy Sutter reported none of
the vehicles sustained damage.
Mike Sutter, his brother-in-law Jeff Link and an unidentified
firefighter worked feverishly, wrapping chains around five nearby fuel tanks and dragging
them out of danger. This was accomplished without incident.
Heavy, black smoke billowed from the building as new and used truck
tires burned. The smoke could be seen for several miles as the morning dawned.
"There were things like acetylene tanks, oil and other
combustibles inside," Brehm said. "We did not have any problem with the flames
spreading because the metal building contained the fire and heat."
The fire chief was not sure what caused the explosion family members
heard. He does not believe it was the acetylene tanks because no one reported hearing the
distinctive noise he likens to an airplane taking off.
A farm tractor and a dually truck parked inside the structure were
destroyed, along with a large amount of tools. Family members were not able to salvage
anything from the interior.
Brehm pegged the loss at $100,000, adding the figure would have been
much higher if flames had reached the parked vehicles. Sixty firefighters and eight fire
department vehicles were on the scene approximately three hours.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Brehm said the
insurance company may send an investigator to the scene.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE DAILY STANDARD
(419)586-2371, Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2002
The Standard Printing
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH