CINCINNATI – Damage from a four-alarm fire at a Walnut Hills dry-cleaning business Monday night could top $500,000, Cincinnati Fire Chief Roy Winston said.
The fire at Superior Linen and Apparel sent smoke billowing into the sky and more than three-quarters of the Cincinnati Fire Department's available personnel rushing to the scene at about 11 p.m., according to District Chief Michael A. Washington.
By midnight, crews upgraded the fire to four-alarm and parts of the roof had begun to collapse, Washington said.
He said he ordered everyone out of the building because of the thick smoke engulfing the shop.
Winston said firefighters took a defensive position to put out the flames.
“It made for one of those deeply entrenched fires and it took hours and hours to really drown the building and get it out,” Winston said.
Despite the fire's size, Washington said no one was injured. The blaze was the city's first four-alarm fire in six years.
Washington said the department “can't even begin to speculate” the cause.
Kevin Mills, an employee for over 20 years, said he’s concerned about where customers will go now for their linens. The business was a Walnut Hills staple.
“It was sad to see because it’s family owned ... I’m just waiting to see myself what we can do and where we go from here,” Mills said. “I don’t know if we can rebuild or not.”