Firefighters Battle Industrial Plant Fire In Waverly

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An industrial fire at the Van Rob plant in Waverly that was reported shortly before 4 p.m. on Tuesday is thought to have possibly started around an exhaust fan on the roof, according to Waverly Fire Chief Randy Armbruster.

Armbruster said the Ohio Division of State Fire Marshal is investigating the fire in order to confirm its cause, which may possibly have been a spark from the fan that landed on the roof of the facility. There was nothing suspicious about the fire, Armbruster explained, but the State Fire Marshal usually gets involved if there is a large industrial fire.

According to Armbruster, fire fighters were able to get the fire extinguished and under control in about an hour and a half. The fire was contained to the roof, and fire fighters had to be careful when walking across the roof, he said.

"[The fire] was hard to get to because of the integrity of the roof," Armbruster said.

Plant employees were all evacuated safely from the site, and no fire fighters were injured. With cleanup, fire fighters were reportedly on the scene for approximately four hours.

The Waverly Fire Department was assisted in battling the blaze by the Piketon, Pebble Township, Wakefield Township, and Jackson Township fire departments from Pike County and the Franklin and Huntington township fire departments from Ross County. At 5:30 p.m. two fire departments from Jackson County, Liberty and Scioto Township Volunteer Fire Departments, were dispatched as mutual aid (man power) to the fire in Waverly.

Armbruster expressed his appreciation for all the help the Waverly Fire Department received and also mentioned that the Red Cross brought drinks and food from Tim Horton's and McDonald's for the fire fighters.

Van Rob is located at 611 West Second Street and is a manufacturer of automobile parts. Armbruster said that a contractor is putting up temporary roofing at the facility so that the company may resume production.