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More than 60 hours later, Osolo fire units clear scene at Lami-Plast

Osolo Township Fire Department units cleared the scene of an industrial fire Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 4.



Posted on Feb. 4, 2014 at 4:46 p.m.

ELKHART — Osolo Township firefighters cleared the scene at Lami-Plast on Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 4, after more than 60 hours of battling a fire.

An Elkhart County dispatcher said units cleared at about 3:35 p.m. 

Osolo Township Fire Assistant Chief Dean Rentfrow said the material at the site is still smoldering. He said small flames are expected to continue burning.

"With that snowstorm coming, we got all the trucks out of there, all the hoses picked up," he said. "Everything is back here, and we'll let it kind of do what's gonna do and then go back out and address it as (the flames) come out."

Kathryn Wells, an office manager for Lami-Plast, said the company has been running out of another office on Elk Park Drive.

"Our production lines are not up and running, but we have already starting shipping product," Wells said.

Wells said the company has several warehouses in the area and expects all employees will return to work by the end of the week.

The Osolo Fire Department was dispatched to Lami-Plast, 25750 Woodlawn Ave., on Saturday night, Feb. 1, when the roof of the building collapsed under the weight of the snow near a gas meter.

The fire department was dispatched about three hours later to a fire at that same location. Several fire departments, including Elkhart, Penn, Edwardsburg, Bristol, Concord, Harrison, Mishawaka, Porter, Clay, Cleveland Township and Osceola, provided mutual aid.

Two firefighters from Cleveland Township were injured while working the fire Sunday. The two were treated and released from the hospital and are recovering from their injuries. 

Sometime after 7 p.m. Sunday, all the units providing mutual aid left the scene and the Osolo fire department continued to tackle the flames.

On Monday, Indiana Department of Environmental Management on-scene coordinator Rich Hackel and Elkhart County Health Department environmentalist Tara Still went on to the scene of the fire Monday to inspect the area. Hackel said he could not find any indication of harmful contaminants in the air or water. 

On Tuesday, two private fire investigators from Lami-Plast's insurance company and a fire investigator from the state fire marshal's office went out to Lami-Plast to look for the cause and origin of the fire. As of Tuesday afternoon, neither the cause nor the origin had been determined.



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Elkhart County fire crews are asking people to stay away from the area as they work to get the fire under control.  A ridge of fire burns with heavy black smoke rising from the flames as fire crews fight a large fire at Woodlawn Ave. and Adams Street in Elkhart, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. Two firefighters hurt while battling massive Lami
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