Kentland fire ruled as accidental

The Kentland fire at the International Cushioning Company has been ruled an accident.

Posted: Oct 9, 2019 6:22 PM
Updated: Oct 9, 2019 6:45 PM

" KENTLAND, Ind. (WLFI) — The Kentland fire at the International Cushioning Company has been ruled an accident.

This is according to Matt Wittenborn, Kentland's Fire Chief.

Wittenborn told News 18 fire crews are still putting out hot spots and expect to be shutting down operations by 10 p.m. Wednesday.

The state fire investigator assisted in the investigation. 

He and Kentland's fire crew said static electricity from a machine inside the facility caused a spark that started the fire. 

There is no dollar damage amount yet.

Residents of Kentland like Wayne Franklin were shocked by how much smoke was pouring from the factory.

"My windows were open all night last night while this was going on," said Wayne Franklin. "I have several pets so I hope my pets and I are ok from all this stuff."

In neighborhoods, nearby people's cars and yards were covered with ash and soot.   When the fire started the department told people in the general area to make sure they kept their windows and doors closed and to stay inside since the smoke was toxic. However, some community members don't think that was enough.

"My personal opinion is that they probably should have evacuated the community," says Gloria Dyer who lives in Kentland. "It was that bad last night and I think it's still here you know that doesn't go away."

The fire department says they considered evacuation as an option.

"We had a hazmat team come in and they did some air quality control and they checked some things out everything was good at that time so we chose not to do that," said Fire Chief Matt Wittenborn. 

A link to the previous story can be found here. 

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