Sprinkler prevents more damage during wood plant fire

By: NewsCenter 16 staff Email
By: NewsCenter 16 staff Email

ELKHART COUNTY A sprinkler system made all the difference in an early-morning fire at Indiana Wood Products in Elkhart County.

It started around 1:30a.m. at the building on County Road 43, southeast of Middlebury.

The fire was just in one building, where they make wood products. Crews say it appears some sort of equipment caught fire.

They could see flames through the roof when they got there. Four departments responded, but thanks to the building’s sprinkler system, the fire didn’t spread very far.

“If they didn't have a sprinkler system, it probably would of burned down. That's what saved the building - that early control of the fire, to let it get beyond the fully involved stage,” Middlebury Fire Chief Jeff Wogoman says.

Crews first doused the fire from the air. Once the fire was knocked down from the roof, they doused the inside of the building.

“I figured we'd have a beast on our hands, but it went pretty smooth,” Chief Wogoman says.

“We used our ladder to set up and hit it from the roof, and we sent crews inside once we got the roof knocked down. Then they hit the inside of the building."

One of the fire fighters on the scene strained his back, but he's doing alright.

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