Rubble is still smoking at warehouse

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Will Francis of the Albion Fire Department keeps a steady stream of water on the smoking ruins of a warehouse that was owned by Orleans Pallet. The site went up in flames on Thursday. This photo was taken at about 11 a.m. today.

Small fires continue to flare up at the site due to the hot smoldering piles. Firefighters say the twisted metal, wooden beams and now piles of sandstone have created a barrier from getting water on some of the fires that erupt in the bottom of the piles. Two of the three-story sandstone walls have been knocked down, beginning on Friday. Two remain standing.

Matt Francis, Will’s brother, was in charge of this hose for another flare up in the smoking remains of the warehouse.

The massive three-story structure was built in 1901 as the Albion Cold Storage Company. Half of a stone sign is setting in the rubble. The sign faced the railroad tracks on the north side of the building. A stream of water from one of the hoses is directed over the sign and at one of the smoldering piles.

Firefighters on the scene said the smoldering ruins with the jagged metal sticking up reminded them of the piles of rubble from the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Older firefighters said the scene looked like the aftermath of World War II bombing.

Orleans Hub has tried to talk with Shawn Malark, owner of the building and Orleans Pallet. I didn’t speak directly with him today but his employees said the company will continue and will keep its customers happy. The company rebuilds wooden pallets and has many customers in the agricultural industry.