Sunday, April 08, 2001

Columbus carpet warehouse burned

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — A fire destroyed a carpet warehouse near downtown early Saturday, and smoldering debris forced firefighters to remain on the scene throughout the day.

        More than 110 firefighters from 30 companies were called to Home Carpet Distributors in the Olde Towne East area about 4:15 a.m., Battalion Chief Craig Baumen said.

        It took about three hours to bring the fire under control because of explosions inside the warehouse, Chief Baumen said.

        “The first crews that went in found propane cylinders which fueled the forklifts,” he said. “We got out all the propane we could. We had two explosions, possibly from the tanks on remaining equipment.”

        A cause has not been determined, but Chief Baumen said it was “very suspicious” because the fire was in two warehouse buildings that were not connected.

        No one was injured. Homes within two blocks to the north of the fire were evacuated because of smoke, and electricity to 2,300 homes in the area was shut off for about four hours.


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