News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 8, 2014

Unplowed roads slow response to industrial park fire

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Multiple fire departments responded to a fire at the Vigo County Industrial Park at 1:10 p.m. Wednesday, where light smoke could be seen rising from the south end of the facility.

Honey Creek Fire Chief Jean Frankel said the fire was contained to the boilerhouse  adjacent to the former Burkes Gardens Home Products. No damage estimate was unavailable at mid-afternoon Wednesday.

Frankel said that a work crew from Joink Communications and another crew from Duke Energy were working in the area when an electrical odor was noticed, along with melting paint and smoke.

The main building of the wood decking manufacturing business was not damaged. No employees were believed to be in the building at the time of the fire.

Frankel said that response to the scene was complicated by the deep snow on the road and the parking area.  The parking lot and driveway around the facility were snow-covered and had not been plowed.

“We had to call the county highway department out to plow the road so we could get in here,” Frankel said. “When you have an industrial fire, you don’t know what you’re going to find. You can’t get your equipment too close in conditions like this.”

Honey Creek firefighters responded to the scene along with Linton Township and Prairieton firefighters. The Prairieton Rehab Bus was used by firefighters to warm themselves after they worked in the frigid temperatures and deep snow. Frankel said the bus was essential for safety in the adverse weather.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.