UPDATE: Charleston Corporation Fireby Amy Wenger on June 4, 2014
According to the latest assessment from the state fire marshal, the fire that destroyed one of the six buildings at the Charleston Corporation in Bremen was accidental in nature.
Nearly a dozen emergency response and fire fighting squads from Bremen and surrounding communities, including LaPaz, Wakarusa, and Nappanee, were summoned to the company's Dogwood Road location at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 3. Initial reports indicated that an explosion was heard before a production building at the rear of the complex erupted in flames. More than 200 employees were evacuated from the site, with three requiring transport to local hospitals.
The state fire marshal's review indicated that static electricity from fiberglass ignited a nearby container of acetone. The affected building was rendered a total loss.
Representatives from Indiana's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) are expected to arrive on scene within the next few days to determine if there were workplace hazards and violations at the time the fire occurred. An inspection at the facility in the fall of 2012 revealed that proper precautions were not being taken to ensure the safe handling of flammable vapors.