November 11, 2013

Firefighters credited with saving Schluter manufacturing center

PLATTSBURGH — Investigation into the cause of the fire that destroyed a warehouse at the Schluter Systems Complex in Plattsburgh on Saturday evening was underway Sunday.

Report of the blaze at 194 Pleasant Ridge Road was first received at about 5:20 p.m. when a company employee at the complex called 911, according to Clinton County Emergency Services Director Eric Day, who was first to respond to the scene.

By the time he arrived, the warehouse, which Day estimated to be about 12,000 square feet in size, was well involved in flames.

“You could see orange glow inside the windows,” he said.

In addition, Day noted, the steel siding on a portion of the building had already failed, succumbing to the immense heat.

“It was a really hot, really smoky fire,” he said.

Though crews from South Plattsburgh Fire Department were the first to be dispatched to the scene, 18 other agencies, including Moores, Champlain, Altona, Chazy, West Chazy, Beekmantown, Dannemora, Cumberland Head, District 3, Plattsburgh City, Morrisonville, Saranac, Peru, AuSable Forks, Keeseville, Willsboro and Jay fire departments, as well as CVPH EMS, were also involved in the effort.

Assistance was also provided by Clinton County deputy fire coordinators.

It was “probably about four hours from the time we arrived until we were pretty comfortable that we had it contained to that building,” Day said.

The warehouse, owned by SSF Production LLC, was used to store some of the product manufactured at the Schluter Complex, according to Day.

“It’s a foam material,” he said.

Schluter Systems manufactures ceramic and stone tile installation systems, according to its website.

The storage structure was joined to the manufacturing facility by a connector roof, from which curtains hung, Day said.

Those curtains, as well as materials kept under the connector roof, were burned in the fire, he said. However, firefighters were able to get a couple of fire trucks into the area early on and apply water to keep the flames from spreading to the manufacturing facility.

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