A fire in south Cleveland early this morning destroyed a plastics business. Firefighters fought the massive blaze all night long, according to officials.
Polymer Components, located near Tindall’s Building Supply on 20th Street S.E., was totally consumed in fire, according to Donnie Sullivan of Bradley County Fire Rescue.
Although the blaze was inside the city limits, county fire and arson investigator Donnie Sullivan was asked to respond to the scene because Cleveland Fire Department fire and arson investigator Ben Atchley is out of town. Acting on Atchley’s behalf, Sullivan will work to pinpoint the cause of the inferno.
Sullivan said 28,000 square feet of industrial building and its contents — including equipment, supplies and finished plastic components — were destroyed.
“The Tennessee Fire Marshal’s Office Bomb and Arson investigators are en route this morning to aid in the investigation into the cause and origin of the fire,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan also noted that business owner Ralph Brett estimated the building to be valued at more than $600,000.
“That figure possibly didn’t include contents,” Sullivan said.
According to reports, the fire began around midnight.
The Cleveland Fire Department was called just before 12:30 a.m.
A passerby had spotted the fire from South Ocoee Street, according to 911 reports.
After firefighters arrived on the scene, Cleveland Utilities crews were dispatched to cut power to high voltage lines and the CU Water Division was requested by CFD command to increase water flow to the hydrants nearby.
Reports indicated electrical power was cut to residences and businesses just south of the incident site, and CU officials upped the pressure to allow hydrants to fight the massive blaze.
Jamie Lewis, disaster relief coordinator for the Hiwassee Chapter of the American Red Cross, said six members of his volunteer crew responded to aid at the scene of the fire.
“We served snacks, water and lots of Gatorade,” Lewis said.
Lewis noted the group, as well as CFD firefighters, cleared the scene just before 7:30 a.m. today. No injuries were reported as crews worked through the night. Assisting at the scene were Cleveland Police Department and Bradley County Emergency Medical Service personnel.
Sullivan remained on the scene this morning awaiting Fire Marshal’s Office investigators.
Additional information will be published as the investigation progresses.