UPDATE: Fire at Kindel Furniture | News
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Fire crews in Grand Rapids will spend most of Monday night putting even more water on the old Kindel furniture factory that caught fire Monday afternoon. Fire officials say they will be putting out hot-spots well into Tuesday. That is because they have had trouble getting close enough to effectively fight the fire.
It began around 12:30 Monday afternoon after a welding crew on the top floor hit a line containing lacquer. The line caught fire and fire spread throughout the west end of the building. A firewall helped protect the newer, east side of the Kindel factor. But crews also worried about the smoke coming from the fire.
Grand Rapids Fire Department Battalion Chief Bart Perry said, "Although we don't like anyone breathing smoke, we're particularly concerned about chemicals in the smoke from the manufacturing process. Initially we thought there were large amounts of lacquer stored in the building. That appears to not be the case."
Perry says the smoke stayed mainly above neighborhoods that were close by so they did not have to order an evacuation. No one was hurt because of the fire.
Smoke could be seen for miles.
About a dozen contractors were at the site when the fire started, but they were able to escape. The president of Kindel and Taylor Company tells WZZM that furniture is no longer made at the factory.
According to the company's website, the original plant was built in 1912. In World War II, Kindel created the Grand Rapids War Industries Group to help build wood glider plane parts.
Last year, Kindel merged with the Taylor Company and moved to 4047 Eastern Avenue.
We'll have more information as it becomes available.
If you are nearby and have photos or video, you can send to WZZM Send It.