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Published: Sunday, 12/25/2005

Pemberville recycling plant ravaged by morning blaze


PEMBERVILLE - Dozens of firefighters from nine municipalities converged on a massive fire at a plastics recycling plant on Pemberville's west side yesterday.

The fire at Moore Diversified Industries Inc. on East Front Street was reported at 5:30 a.m. It kept Pemberville firefighters on the scene for six hours. At various times they were assisted by firefighters from Wayne, Bradner, Gibsonsburg, and Risingsun, plus Troy, Center, Woodville, and Middleton townships, Pemberville Fire Chief Duane Martin said.

The cause was not immediately known, nor was the point of origin.

No injuries were reported. One family in a house to the north of the plant was evacuated as a precaution. An emergency responder from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency went to the scene to monitor nearby air and water. The state fire marshal's office is to assist with the investigation next week, Chief Martin said.

The chief said smoke and fumes from the burning plastic would have likely resulted in a larger evacuation if weather conditions were less favorable.

"The wind was to our benefit," he said. "Smoke carried over the houses and wasn't blowing into town."

Owner Larry Moore, who also owns the nearby Fork's Restaurant on East Front Street, brought food to the firemen. He said he was impressed by their response. "They were awesome," he said.

Chief Martin said he had no official damage estimate yet, but Mr. Moore said he believes his losses will exceed $400,000. He said he has insurance on the plant and its contents.

Mr. Moore said he has owned the plastics plant since 1988. He said he feels especially sorry for his two employees, who will likely be displaced because of the blaze.

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