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Published: Monday, 9/17/2001 - Updated: 2 years ago

Arson probed in blaze at Weston chemical factory

WESTON, Ohio - A fire that caused an estimated $50,000 damage at Cresset Chemical Co. here Saturday night is being investigated for arson by the state fire marshal's staff.

“Right now we're just calling it suspicious,” Weston fire Chief Randy Tolles said yesterday.

His volunteer department had firefighters at the scene at 9:30 p.m. Saturday after a call came from a Cresset alarm at the plant about a half-mile from the fire station. They stayed there until midafternoon yesterday.

As many as 80 firefighters from six area volunteer departments eventually were called to the plant in this small town west of Bowling Green.

When the Weston crew arrived, a laboratory was fully engulfed, there was fire in a storage area for plastic containers, and heavy smoke filled the 40-by-200- foot building.

The smoke turned out to be the biggest challenge in fighting the fire, but firefighters were wary because they were uncertain what chemicals were in the lab, Chief Tolles said.

They told nearby residents to close their windows, primaily as a precaution. Some left their houses, although firefighters did not organize an evacuation.

Flames never went through the roof, and the fire was extinguished within an hour.

According to Chief Tolles, most of the loss was in laboratory equipment and empty plastic containers for the hand cleaner that the plant makes.

One firefighter was treated for exhaustion at Wood County Hospital.

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