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PA Printer Suffers $75 Million Loss After Press Catches Fire

December 2012

INDIANA, PA—The third-generation owner of a printing plant here is faced with the task of completely rebuilding his business after an Oct. 23 fire ripped through the facility, requiring the work of 13 fire departments to get the blaze under control. The damage was estimated at more than $75 million.

The fire, which started around 8:30 a.m., ignited in one of six printing presses at Creps United Publications, according to the Indiana Gazette. Employees attempted to put out the fire with extinguishers, but were quickly forced to evacuate the building. It was fully involved when the first firefighters responded just minutes after receiving the call.

Fueled by paper rolls, ink, solvent and other chemicals, which caused periodic explosions, temperatures soared past 1,000° F. at the roof and the steel structure began to wilt, causing walls to bow and part of the roof to cave in, the newspaper reported.

No employees were injured, but four firefighters had to be transported to a local hospital. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Jack Creps, an owner of the company, speculated that four of the presses may be salvageable, but that damages were still being assessed. He told the Gazette that his shop is fully insured and that the plans are to rebuild.

Creps United, which employs about 180 workers, specializes in producing full-color newspaper advertising inserts.


 

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