DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Firefighters spent more than six hours putting out the flames after a vacant industrial facility caught fire.
The call came in at approximately 4:41 p.m. Tuesday in the area of Deeds Avenue and Edmund Street.
Witnesses said they called 911 after seeing the initial smoke.
“It was just smoke coming out of the top,” said Nicole Stewart, who saw the fire while picking up her daughter from a nearby bus stop. “It started out as white then it started to get gray. Then it got pretty heavy.”
For safety of the fire crews, DP&L was called to shut off power. At most, firefighters said more than 550 residents were without power while crews fought the flames.
“I can’t cook food. I can’t heat. My apartment is cold now. I’m freezing,” said Josh Koleff. “I just came out to see what was happening.”
Tuesday’s fire was not the first time firefighters had been called to the vacant facility.
Back in 2007, firefighters ruled a fire at the same location as arson after a flames destroyed parts of the interior.
Since then, the Dayton Fire Department has been called on other occasions to put out fires started by scrappers or squatters, according to the fire department.
Montgomery County property records list the building’s owner as K.K. Enterprises. Firefighters said, at one point, the facility used to store numerous items. One of those was rubber.
Given its history, fire crews said they would not be surprised if the facility was torn down.
“Certainly in the condition this one is getting in, I don’t know who the owner is but it would be one to consider for demolition,” said District Chief Barry Baldwin with the Dayton Fire Department.
Neighbors echoed that sentiment hoping it would be demolished in order to keep children in the neighborhood from getting injured.
“Kids are back there on the railroad tracks playing,” said Stewart. “It’s just not a safe place.”
The Dayton Police Department called in officers to direct traffic at Deeds Avenue and Leo Street.
Because of the facility’s location near train tracks, CSX has also been called to notify their carriers of the incident.
At this point, the fire is considered suspicious.