FRANKLIN, Ohio - It took hours for Warren County firefighters to get control of an early Thursday morning fire that caused heavy damage to a 100-year-old factory in Franklin.
The Franklin Fire Department expects to be back on Oxford Road later Thursday to continue the investigation into the fire that caused the collapse of part of the roof at the Cast Plus factory.
For a time, the fire lit up the sky over Franklin, since Cast Plus sits just across the Great Miami River from this city's downtown area.
Franklin Fire Chief Jonathan Westendorf says the fire appears to have broken out in a painting area inside the century-old factory building around 1:30 a.m.
Westendorf says the fire spread upwards through the single-story building to the roof of the factory. The flames caused part of the roof to collapse under heavy heating and air conditioning equipment.
Westendorf describes the blaze as a typical structure fire, but he says the age of the building and multiple remodelings and additions added to the difficulty in bringing the fire under control.
One male worker, one female worker and two dogs inside the factory were able to safely escape.
Cast Plus recently stopped running a third shift at the factory, which left only a handful of people working into the early morning hours.
The firm makes powder coatings for various products including truck parts for Ford, General Motors, Peterbilt and Kenworth.
There's no word yet on whether operations at Cast Plus will be able to continue in parts of the factory building not affected by the Thursday morning fire.
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