Axiom Impressions Workers in Portland, TN, Are Able to Escape Plant Prior to Its Roof Collapse
PORTLAND, TN—February 25, 2015—The 23-employee crew on duty at Axiom Impressions could tell that something was wrong with their building on the morning of Feb. 21. Fortunately, they were all able to escape before the roof collapsed, triggering a fire that decimated the 100,000-square-foot facility here, The Tennessean reported.
An 8-10" layer of ice and snow, coupled with saturation and extreme cold temperatures, were blamed for triggering the collapse before 9 a.m. The anchor of electrical wires, leaking natural gas lines and broken pipes led to the fire, according to the newspaper.
Portland Fire Chief Al West told The Tennessean that the single-story, concrete brick building with metal roof was a total loss. Luckily, its gradual crumbling was loud enough to give workers sufficient notice to escape.
"(The employees) heard odd noises and noticed it was happening, and they started running to get out," West said. "It's very fortunate."
West described the scene as resembling a bomb detonation, leaving a tangled mess in its wake.
Matthew Duffield, president and CEO of Axiom Impressions, did not immediately respond to a request for comment as to the level of financial loss or any plans to relocate.
Axiom Impressions—a heatset and coldset printer of free standing inserts, catalogs, publications, financial reports and mailers—is headquartered in the Kansas City, MO, suburb of Liberty, MO. Its Portland plant is located 40 miles north of Nashville, TN.