GALION — A longtime family business in Galion was struck by fire on Thursday night.
The fire was reported around 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Flick Packaging Co., 340 South Columbus Street in Galion. Galion Fire Chief Phil Jackson said the cutting department at the Flick property was fully totally engulfed by fire when his department arrived on the scene. The cutting department is one of five buildings located at the Flick complex.
Jackson noted that the fire was initially difficult to reach because of where the building is located on the property, but firefighters had the blaze under control about an hour after they arrived. By 9:45 p.m., Jackson said fire crews were tamping down hot spots in the building. The building is situated on the west side of the Flick property adjacent to residential housing along South Market Street.
Capt. Todd Eagle of the Galion Fire Department said firefighters were still on the scene Friday morning and planned to remain there as long as necessary to handle any potential ignition of hot spots. Two fire trucks were parked in front of houses along South Market Street with water lines running from hydrants between houses back to the Flick property.
“Most of our equipment left at about 2 o’clock in the morning (Friday), but we’ve kept fire watch there (Friday),” Eagle said. “There’s just so much debris and piles of wood. We’re still kind of dealing with that.”
No injuries were reported, either among firefighting crews or civilians, Eagle said. None of the other buildings on the Flick property and none of the surrounding residential dwellings were affected by the fire, Eagle said.
Eagle said the cause of the fire has not been determined and that the investigation is continuing. He noted that the building is a total loss.
“At this point, it’s just way too early to even know (the cause) because it just burned so completely,” he said. “We’re estimating a $200,000 property loss and a $200,000 contents loss as well.”
The City of Galion Utility Department cut power to the facility as a safety precaution to assist firefighters. Houses along South Market Street and surrounding areas were without electrical service for a time Thursday night.
City of Galion Communications Director Matt Echelberry said three houses were still without power Friday morning. He said the city’s Line Department has been working to clear debris in order to get to utility poles in the area to make repairs.
A woman, who asked to remain anonymous, who lives in a residence along South Market Street adjacent to the Flick property said she “thanked God” that firefighters were able to contain the blaze so that it didn’t spread to surrounding buildings. Several residences are located within a couple of hundred feet or less from where the fire occurred.
Fire department officials said Flick Packaging Co. officials were able to retrieve some equipment from the building. They noted that the space where the cutting department is located is also used to store lumber.
Founded in the 1930s, Flick Packaging Co. manufactures packing materials, wooden boxes, and heavy-duty cargo containers, according to the company’s website.
Eagle said a total of 12 Galion firefighters battled the blaze. He said the following fire departments provided mutual aid to the fight the fire at the Flick Packaging Co. property: Bucyrus, Crestline, Iberia, Jefferson Township, Ontario, Shelby, Springfield Township, and Whetstone Township.
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