This story has been updated to identify the property damaged. Incorrect information appeared in an earlier version.
SPRINGBORO — Sunday afternoon’s fire at one of the buildings of a former dairy plant in Springboro may have been an arson by three adolescent boys, according to Pennsylvania State Police at Meadville.
The fire at Shidemantle Storage on Lake Street in the borough was discovered around 12:15 p.m. and required a half-dozen volunteer fire departments from western Crawford County to fight it. The three boys were located by state police and their parents notified of the investigation.
“No charges yet. (The) investigation is still ongoing,” Crawford County District Attorney Francis Schultz confirmed Sunday night to the Tribune via text.
Witnesses saw three boys — ages 11, 11 and 10 and all from Springboro — go into one of the buildings before it was on fire, according a report from Trooper Stephen Peters. One witness went into the building to see what the children were doing, but smelled smoke upon entering and also saw the three boys run out, the report said. The witness then noticed a small fire on the floor plus multiple hay bales inside on fire.
“The neighbor came running over said he saw three kids running out,” said Don Cady, a fireman with Springboro Volunteer Fire Department, who lives next door to the storage facility. “I looked over and saw smoke rolling out of the building.”
Springboro was the lead department on the call, but quickly called for mutual aid from Conneautville, Summit Township, Linesville, Hayfield Township and Vernon Central volunteer fire departments. The Crawford County Scuba Team also was called to provide its air trailer to aid firefighters who had to battle the blaze under sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-80s.
The fire was contained to a large building on the southern end of the property that only contained large round bales of hay, according to Chief Lloyd Allen of Springboro Volunteer Fire Department. While that building and the multiple hay bales inside were lost to the due to fire, there were no injuries.
The property is owned by Peggy Shidemantle, according to state police. It was a former dairy plant owned by Reick McJunkin Dairy Co., a forerunner to Kraft Foods Inc., now the Kraft Heinz Co.
As the winter season is upon us, Springboro VFD wants everyone to drive safe this season. So here are some Safe Winter Driving Tips.
1. If you must drive, clear the ice and snow from your vehicle, all windows and windshield wipers. Be sure the windshield washer reservoir is adequately filled with a freeze-resistant cleaning solution.
2. Drive slowly. Even if your vehicle has good traction in ice and snow, other drivers will be traveling cautiously. Don’t distrupt the flow of traffic by driving faster than everyone else.
3. Drive with your headlights on.
4. Don’t get overconfident with four-wheel drive. It won’t help you stop any faster.
5. Winter road conditions often result in longer stopping distances. Give yourself room. If you have anti-lock brakes, press the pedal down firmly and hold it. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, gently pump the pedal.
6. Slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady spots. These all have potential to develop black ice.
7. Avoid abrupt actions while steering, braking or accelerating to lessen your chance of losing control.
8. Look farther ahead in traffic. Actions by other drivers will alert you to problems and give you extra reaction time.
9. Trucks take longer to stop. Don’t cut in front of them.
10. Avoid using cruise control or overdrive. Don’t let your car make a bad decision for you.
Please take these safe driving tips serious. Hope you all drive safe.
TOLEDO, Ohio — Black, soot-covered gear was traditionally thought of as a badge of honor for firefighters, until health concerns about toxic carcinogens prompted officials to try to change that mindset.
But trying to clean a two-layer coat, gloves, pants and other tools of the firefighting trade is no easy task. It can take hours, if not days, for the heat-protective gear to dry following a 45-minute heavy-duty wash cycle.
Now, a new piece of equipment — designed by one of Toledo Fire and Rescue Department’s own — aims to cut down the drying time and encourage firefighters to religiously wash their gear.
It’s a simple and ingenious idea, said firefighters from Toledo Fire Department Station 9 as they hung pieces of gear on the new dryer. It’s built from stacks of PVC pipes — resembling a drying rack — on a rolling box. A floor dryer quietly supplies air through the pipes to dry the gear.
The gear dryer, designed by Pvt. Scott Martin, cuts drying time from several hours to approximately 45 minutes, officials said.
“When I became a firefighter, [I learned] your gear is wet every day. It is sopping wet, it won’t dry,” Private Martin said. He came up with the concept when he was in the fire academy. “This stuff is so thick it just stays wet and stinky.”
Private Martin researched commercial turnout gear dryers, which can cost upward of nearly $9,000. The firefighter, who has a background in carpentry and remodeling, figured he could recreate a similar piece using inexpensive material.
“Anyone could do what I did there. It was a simple idea for a problem,” he said.
When he was assigned to Toledo Fire Station 7, which has been ranked in recent Firehouse Magazine surveys among the busiest departments and apparatus in the country, Private Martin said crew members were always trying to dry their frequently used turnout gear. Their gear laid all over the apparatus bay — on the floor, on ropes, on ladders, with hope it would dry in time before their next run, Private Martin said.
He left the dryer for the crew members at Station 7 as his “parting gift” before he was assigned to Station 6, which is ranked 34th for busiest station in the nation, according to the Firehouse Magazine survey.
Toledo firefighters already have two sets of turnout gear, but sometimes crews respond to multiple fires in one day, said Toledo Fire Department Safety Officer Lt. Ron Kay.
So firefighters are often forced to choose between “the lesser of two evils,” meaning which set of gear is less dirty or wet, said department spokesman Pvt. Sterling Rahe. But even slightly dirty gear may have already been exposed to toxic fumes and materials, which are often burning plastic and petroleum-based products.
“I want to do everything I can to protect this next generation of firefighters,” Lieutenant Kay said. “All these classes that we’ve hired, these young firefighters, I want to protect them. The only way we’re going to lessen the cancer rate among firefighters is with these preventative efforts right now.”
Firefighters face a 9 percent higher risk for cancer diagnoses and a 14 percent higher risk of dying of cancer compared to the general population in the U.S., according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Several studies are being completed to see what specifically is causing such high cancer rates among firefighters, said Battalion Chief Matt Brixey. Firefighters are exposed to hundreds of chemicals during a fire incident, he said.
“We don’t really know what is increasing our risk. Until we get the results, we have to do as much as we can to protect ourselves,” he said.
Private Martin said he didn’t build the dryer for the recognition, he only wanted clean, dry gear.
Officials want the same for all firefighters, so a deputy chief asked Private Martin to build an additional 10 dryers for stations who requested them.
“It’s saving the city a ton of money. It’s really an effective piece of equipment,” Private Rahe said. “It’s going to get used all of the time.”
Additionally, in the next few weeks, the department will be rolling out “After Fire Decontamination Buckets,” which is a bucket including adult wet wipes, a standard garden hose, and scrub brushes, to help clean off a firefighter should he or she be covered in dirt or soot following a fire. It will help with the initial cleanup efforts before a firefighter is able to shower.
This too is part of the cancer prevention program.
“Before, we really didn’t have a whole lot of means to clean [firefighters] up,” Lieutenant Kay said. “Everything we get from inside the fire building, we’re taking in the cab … and that’s what we’re driving around all day on medical emergency calls. We’re breathing everything in.”
The idea was shared from firefighters in Cincinnati.
A 2016 F-550 / Custom Truck & Body Works with a Pro Poly 300 Gallon Tank, 400GPM Hale Pump powered by a D902-EF01 Kubota Diesel Engine with (3) 1.5″ Discharges, (1) 2.5″ Discharge, (1) 2.5″ Intake, a Hannay Electric hose reel and suction hose and Brush tool in skid unit storage area.
(2) Hose troughs on Body tops for Forestry and 1.5″ hose and (1) Stokes Basket Storage area with tie down
Compartments feature rollout trays for cribbing and Hurst Battery powered Hydraulic tools.(Cutter, Combi Tool and Ram)
Extinguisher storage cabinets for (1) 20# ABC, (1) 20# Purple K and (1) 10# ABC Extinguishers, Airbag storage, absorbent rollout storage bin and large aluminum shelves. A Command Light 12V LED scene light on the body roof provides excellent 360 degree lighting.
Warning light features Whelen Body warning lights and Code 3 Split Narrowstick. A Touch Tek 10 Light controller and Whelen Siren Controller are also mounted on the console.
Interior includes Custom Console front and rear with Streamlight Lite boxes and Hurst Battery charging area and (2) rear Flamefighter SCBA seats.
A Kussmaul charge system ensures the unit is charged and ready to roll..
Also includes a Warn Winch with front and rear receiver and powerpoints
Red LED compartment strip lights and LED underbody and rear bed area lights provide adequate lighting both inside compartments and around the unit.
Thank you Springboro VFD for choosing Fire-Fly Fire Equipment for your new truck!!