Massive fire claims Plain City area woodworking business

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Photos courtesy of Battallion Chief Mike Riebel/Washington Township Fire Department
Fire fighters battle a devastating blaze at Whitmer Woodworks.

(Posted Dec. 14, 2022)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The Pleasant Valley Fire District is deeming the primary structure at a Plain City area business a total loss following a fire that broke out early in the morning of Dec. 13. No civilians or fire fighters were injured.

At 4 a.m., the fire department and its automatic aid partners were alerted to a possible structure fire at Whitmer Woodworks, 8940 Carters Mill Rd. The first responders observed heavy smoke with flames coming from the roof of a 60×240-foot building on the property.

According to a press release from Pleasant Valley Fire District, one person had been working inside the building. That person had exited the structure before the fire department arrived. The employee said he heard a “pop” and saw fire coming from one of the machines in operation at the business.

Fire fighters on the first engine to arrive attempted to attack the fire from the interior but were driven out by intense heat and heavy fire conditions. Crews then took a defensive approach from the exterior, containing the fire five hours later.

Eleven fire departments responded to a commercial structure fire that devastated a woodworking business in the Plain City area.

Pleasant Valley Fire District reports that 60 fire fighters from 11 departments responded to the scene, along with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and the Union County Emergency Management Agency. In addition to Pleasant Valley, the following fire departments who provided aid included: Washington Township, Norwich Township, Central Townships, Jerome Township, Jefferson Township, Pleasant Township, Prairie Township, Union Township, Marysville, and Columbus.

The press release states the lack of a nearby municipal water system hindered the operations: “Because of the lack of fire hydrants, 10 trucks designed to carry water for fire fighting were utilized throughout the incident.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation by Pleasant Valley Fire District.

Formerly known as Arched Casings, Whitmer Woodworks has been producing custom woodwork for residential and commercial clients since 1996. The company builds archways, window frames, mouldings, staircases and railings, wall paneling, pergolas, furniture and more.

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