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Published: Thursday, 1/3/2008

Ventilation-duct blaze shuts Powertrain briefly

Sparks and heat from a cutting torch ignited oil residue in ventilation ducts yesterday afternoon during building demolition at the General Motors Powertrain complex on West Alexis Road, authorities said.

The blaze was reported about 3:30 p.m. When Toledo firefighters arrived, the contractor's fire brigade was setting up, but had not begun fighting the fire, battalion Chief Frank Keating said.

The fire, which spread to a ventilation housing on the roof, was under control shortly after 4 p.m. Alexis was closed briefly.

"We had water on it right away, but until you can take a good look at [the fire], you can't say it's under control," Chief

Keating said. That meant firefighters had to rip apart duct work beneath the roof to look for fire.

Chief Keating estimated the loss at only $1,000 "because it was all scrap."

TIFFIN - Fire heavily damaged a Miami Street home early Tuesday, although no one was home at the time.

Tiffin firefighters, who fought the fire for 2 1/2 hours, were able to rescue a dog and three cats from the home of John Payne, who was at work at the time of the 4:40 a.m. blaze. The rest of his family was out of town.

Firefighters said an electrical problem may have caused the blaze at the two-story, wood frame house. No damage estimate was available yesterday.

Hundreds of troops from local Ohio National Guard units will be honored with send-off ceremonies today and tomorrow before deployment to the Middle East.

About 100 troops from the Tiffin-based 149th Infantry Regiment and their families will gather at 1 p.m. today at Heidelberg College. An added 350 Guard troops from the 1-148th Infantry Regiment based at the Tracy Road armory will be honored at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Owens Community College.

Maj. Nicole Gabriel, an Ohio National Guard spokesman, said both regiments are a part of the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, which is sending 1,600 troops to Kuwait and likely will conduct some missions in Iraq.

The 1,600-troop deployment is the largest single-unit deployment of Ohio National Guard troops since World War II, Major Gabriel said.

The troops are set to train for two to three months at Fort Hood in Texas before a

10-month deployment to a base in Kuwait.

The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Lucas County has postponed by a week two strategic plan community focus group sessions.

The sessions, formerly scheduled for today and tomorrow, now will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 10 and 10 a.m. on Jan. 11.

Each will be held at the agency's offices at 701 Adams St., suite 800. Lucas County residents should call 419-213-4600 by Wednesday to reserve seats.

The sessions' purpose is to gather community members' input regarding strengths and challenges facing the agency's mental-health, prevention, and substance-abuse programs.



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