Ind. Firefighters Battle Massive Pallet Plant Fire

More than 100 firefighters from three counties spent most of the night battling a massive fire at a pallet factory just outside of Clinton County.

By midnight, much of Industrial Pallet Corp., 11349 U.S. Highway 52 South, in Clarks Hill was on fire. Flames could be seen as far away as Frankfort.

In addition to large piles of wooden pallets, several buildings and tractor-trailers were also smoking or on fire.

Firefighters were expected to remain on the scene at least through Sunday morning, and additional firefighter “strike teams” were expected to come from the Indianapolis area in the early morning.

Deputy Chief Steve Butram, of the Lafayette Fire Department, said the blaze was first reported inside a building at the facility at 8:04 p.m., and a Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Deputy was first on the scene.

“He reported flames through the roof when he arrived less than a minute after it was reported,” Butram said.

By Midnight, firefighters from 22 departments in Tippecanoe, Clinton and Carroll counties were on the scene, and additional firefighters were expected to come up later.

“We’re in defensive mode right now. We’re trying to keep the unburned sections from burning,” Butram said.

One issue was water. As he talked, a stream of tanker trucks pulled in and out of the site.

“Right now we’re trying to play catch-up with the water,” Butram said.

“We terminated going to Clarks Hill to pick up water because we’ve dropped their water supply level down. It’s taking the trucks a little bit of turnaround time to get back here.”

The temperatures hovered around freezing. While that was creating problems, several firefighters on the scene said they were lucky the blaze didn’t occur several days ago when the temperatures were much colder.

No injuries were reported.

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