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Massive blaze breaks out at Dowagiac furniture factory

Ameriwood fire photo courtesy of Anna Wurz.{ }
Ameriwood fire photo courtesy of Anna Wurz.
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Fire officials in Dowagiac are investigating this morning after a massive fire at a furniture factory.

It took crews close to 3 hours to get the flames under control at Ameriwood on Spaulding Street.

Fire officials say right now there’s nothing at this point that looks suspicious.

Crews were called out to Ameriwood Industries 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

"The fire is believed to have started due to an explosion in the boiler feed auger system," according to a release issued Monday by Steven Grinnewald, Dowagiac director of public safety. "This system feeds stored sawdust to a burner which is part of the boiler heating system. Damage to this area included large overhead doors and walls damaged from the explosion. Structural damage from the fire is still being assessed and the department will return to work with Ameriwood crews later today for follow up on the amount of total damage."

There was nobody inside the building at the time and nobody was injured.

No word on when full production at the company will be back up and running.

Fire officials say crews stayed until past midnight putting out hot spots in the walls and roof.

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"Fire crews were supported by generous businesses and citizens who brought beverages and food to support the firefighters," said Grinnewald. "True’s Towing brought a heated trailer for fire crews to warm up in. The outside temperature during the fire was around 9 degrees."

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