Indiana Crews Battle Fire At Insulation Plant

Updated: 02-16-2007 09:51:45 AM

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Fire crews from as many as five communities battled a large fire Friday morning at the Knauf Insulation plant in Shelbyville.

All employees got out safely, but, with temperatures below zero, frozen hydrants made it tough for firefighters to battle the blaze, which began at about 2:45 a.m. and was still raging as of 7 a.m. at the plant, in the 200 block of East Elizabeth Street, just off State Road 9.

Officials said the fire was contained to an old office building that was undergoing renovation at the sprawling plant, 6News' Julie Pursley reported.

There are no air quality problems, because fiberglass did not burn in the fire, officials said. Residents nearby stayed in their homes, but officials stressed that no hazardous material was involved in the fire.

The Indiana Fire Marshal's Office and the Indiana Department of Environmental management were sending crews to the scene. Air and water quality samples were being taken to ensure no problems with either.

Fire crews could not get close to the building and had to battle the blaze from above.

According to the company's Web site, Knauf Insulation began a $200 million renovation at its Shelbyville facility in 2005. That renovation was ongoing as of the middle of 2006.

The company employs about 1,200 workers in Shelbyville, according to its Web site, and is the largest employer in the city.

Employees were told to report to the new warehouse shipping office and await instruction about where to report.

Coulston Elementary School, which is near the site of the fire, closed on Friday.

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