Eighteen fire departments battled a blaze late Jan. 2 at The Toolroom Inc., an Owensville, Mo., toolmaker and injection molder.
No injuries were reported. Owensville Fire Chief Jeff Arnold told Plastics News the building was unoccupied when the fire began about 8:30 p.m., as the company was still closed from the holiday weekend.
The 53,000-square-foot facility included manufacturing, office and warehouse space on eight acres in an industrial park. The warehouse appeared to be a total loss, Arnold said. Insurance adjusters were evaluating the extent of the damage to the rest of the property.
The volunteer department’s Facebook page said fire had spread throughout the building: “The call was taken to a third alarm and 17 [other fire departments] responded.”
Firefighters were called back to the scene Jan. 3 when the fire rekindled.
The state fire marshal’s office was investigating and said the cause was undetermined late Jan. 4. Severe storms with frequent lightning strikes were reported in the area the night of the fire and officials have been unable to eliminate lightning as a possible cause, Mike O’Connell, public information officer for the marshal’s office, said by phone late Wednesday.
Arnold said insurance investigators will be left to determine the cause. “We did have some gnarly storms rolling through the area at that time,” he added.
The Glasconade County Republican newspaper reported Toolroom workers on Tuesday were removing pallets of melted 5-gallon buckets, lids and debris from the site.
The company employs 60-80, according to its website. The Toolroom had seven injection molding machines for testing molds, prototypes and production, with clamping forces of 25-770 tons, the website says.
The family-owned company, headed by President Gerard Krupp, was founded in 1978. Owensville is about 80 miles southeast of St. Louis.