published Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Cleveland factory fire rubble still unsafe for investigators

Cleveland firefighters continue to work the scene where an overnight fire destroying a large warehouse off of Euclid Avenue early Thursday morning.
Cleveland firefighters continue to work the scene where an overnight fire destroying a large warehouse off of Euclid Avenue early Thursday morning.
Photo by Dan Henry.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Fire officials said today that investigators will not be able to get a first look in the rubble of the old Cleveland Chair Co. building until Friday at the earliest.

At 2 p.m. today Cleveland Fire Department ladder trucks still were spraying the smoldering remains of the old factory building with water to cool it and prevent flare-ups.

The unused building’s second and third floors collapsed onto the first floor, authorities said.

Investigators will be looking for a cause and, potentially, for human remains if any homeless person may have been inside, said Ben Atchley, department training coordinator.

This was the second significant emergency call for the department in 24 hours. The same firefighters who responded to the factory fire had rushed to the county courthouse Wednesday afternoon in response to an anthrax scare that turned out to be a hoax.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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