Defiance warehouse fire

When fire struck a warehouse in Defiance at 2 a.m. Tuesday, the Bryan Fire Department sent an aerial truck and engine to protect the rear flank. Defiance crews remained on scene all Tuesday and at 10 a.m. the embers were still generating steam with an audible hiss while rime ice coated sidewalks downwind.

A fire destroyed the Howerton Enterprises warehouse at 902 S. Jackson St., Defiance, early Tuesday morning.

City of Defiance Fire Chief Bill Wilkins reported his department responded at 1:47 a.m. and on arrival saw “heavy fire from the rear of the building.”

“The fire was brought under control with the assistance from multiple mutual aid fire departments,” he said in a press release Tuesday afternoon. Firefighters responded from other departments in Defiance County as well as Williams, Henry and Putnam counties.

“It was defensive from the very beginning,” Defiance Fire Captain Steve Johns said.

The Bryan Fire Department responded at 2:10 a.m. with eight firefighters, an aerial truck and an engine.

“We set up the aerial near the back part of the building and flowed water eight hours straight,” Bryan Fire Chief Bruce Siders said. “It was pretty chilly up there.”

Siders’ engine crew relieved another team and staged on the street to blast flames with their deck gun.

The Defiance Fire Department kept crews on site with their own aerial truck throughout the day.

The warehouse was used to store after-market auto parts. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Ohio Fire Marshal’s Office, Wilkins said.

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