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Compressor blamed in plant blaze

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Seymour Fire Department spent 90 minutes fighting a fire reported Thursday morning at Kremers Urban at Freeman Field Industrial Park.

“Employees were evacuated as a precaution, but they’ve been allowed back into the plant, isolated from this area,” Seymour Fire Chief Brad Lucas said.

Lucas said no one was hurt in the fire, and he made the decision to allow employees back into the plant as long as they stayed in the lobby or warehouse area, which was well away from the fire reported in a compressor room near the main entrance to the plant.

Lucas said after talking with maintenance workers at the plant, which produces pharmaceutical products, it appears the fire apparently started when oil escaped from a compressor and caused a fire inside the motor.

“It was a large compressor,” Lucas said.

Firefighters contained the fire, reported at 11:20 a.m., to the compressor room and to a vent on the roof, Lucas said.

Flames were seen coming out of the vent when Cpl. Tim Toborg of Seymour Police Department arrived on the scene.

Firefighters cut out portions of the roof to ensure the fire had not spread to another area of the building, he said.

Company officials could not be reached for comment about the fire and whether production had resumed. Lucas said production was stopped for at least part of the day.

“Power was shut off to the plant,” Lucas said.

Power was being restored to the plant, with the exception of the compressor room area, when firefighters left the scene around 1 p.m. Thursday, Lucas added.

The factory complex, formerly operated by Schwarz Pharma, is at 1101 C Ave.

The company employs 491 workers, according to a survey taken by Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. in the first quarter of 2012.

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