Various HME fire apparatus, from all over Grand Rapids, were called to the historic Kindel Furniture factory fire, on Monday afternoon, May 9, 2011.
HME Fire Trucks And Kindel Furniture: Both Handcrafted In Grand Rapids
Various HME Rescue Pumpers, from stations throughout the Grand Rapids Fire Department system, were called to the factory fire at the historic Kindel Furniture facility in the city’s southeast side, on May 9th. The Kindel Furniture factory, built in 1912, was only a few miles from HME’s manufacturing facility where many of the fire trucks that fought the blaze were manufactured.
HME Workers Heard Their Trucks Answering The Call Miles North Of HME Headquarters
There was a sense of sad irony in the air as HME workers could hear the sirens, from the fire trucks that they had made with their own hands, on their way to the sprawling industrial fire that consumed the historic, century old building only a few miles to the north.
The Fire Was Caused By An Exploding Lacquer Line
Approximately 20,000 to 25,000 gallons per minute were poured on the burning factory and called so many of the city’s fire fighters and equipment to the scene many local stations had to be manned by neighbors. The fire was started by a flash fire and explosion when a worker’s power tool cut through a lacquer line that was thought to have been drained. All the workers escaped without injury. The 92,000 square foot facility had been recently closed, and Kindel’s operations had bee transferred to a facility on the east side of the city, so loss of property was minimal. Most of the building was destroyed by the fire and a large portion of the roof and walls collapsed. The fire could be seen for nearly 30 miles away, and was even visible on the city’s weather radar systems.