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Plant fire blamed on electrical short

October 04, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

New Franklin, Pa. - A fast-moving fire idled about 15 employees at a Guilford Township steel fabrication plant Thursday afternoon.

The fire broke out at around 1 p.m. at D.L. George and Sons Manufacturing at 3791 Church Road. Firefighters had the blaze under control in about 30 minutes, said Clyde Thomas, deputy chief of the New Franklin Fire Co.

A preliminary investigation indicated the fire started from an electrical short in a fan and spread quickly across the roof, Manager Phillip Van Deuren said.

He said an employee attempted to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher but the fire quickly moved too far up into the roof.

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Van Deuren said about 15 employees were working in the facility, which is set back among cornfields, but no one was injured.

He said that there was a lot of damage, but two areas critical to the facility - a laser cutter and a powder-coating operation - would be functional as long as there is electricity to the building.

Van Deuren said if employees cannot work at the facility today, they will be shifted to the Waynesboro, Pa., site.

The facility makes steel parts for subcontractors.

D.L. George and Sons acquired the assets of Kipe Steel in July and leases the building from Kipe Steel.

Van Deuren said he would not have a damage estimate until he could get inside and look around.

"Inside the building there were a lot of finished parts and things we were working on. They are probably damaged close to beyond repair," he said.

Fire companies from across Franklin County responded to the fire and were still putting out hot spots Thursday afternoon, Thomas said.

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