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Dalton mayor, EWFD fire chief: ‘Neighbors helping neighbors’

DALTON  A risk of explosions that potentially could have resulted from smoldering feed in a bin at MARS Horsecare Friday afternoon led to the surrounding area being evacuated overnight, businesses shutting down, roads closing, and other people having to shelter in place.

At the beginning of this week, the building was still being carefully monitored by area agencies, company representatives and experts, but the evacuation and shelter-in-place orders were lifted early Saturday morning. Everything possible was being done to contain the situation and keep everyone safe. Dirt was moved to surround the building in the case of runoff and roads continued to be closed including Schultz from the Wenger building to Freet and the alleys that led back to MARS.

Both Dalton Mayor Dennis Finley and Interim East Wayne Fire District Chief Don Shilling used the phrase “neighbors helping neighbors” when it came to the response to the emergency. No injuries were reported throughout the weekend. More than 20 fire departments from throughout Wayne County and surrounding counties responded and the state fire marshal and fire and industry experts all lent their knowledge and experience to making sure everyone stayed safe in the dangerous situation. The village, township, numerous agencies, businesses and residents all worked together and provided resources as quickly as possible, and also expressed concern for one another, Finley noted.

“It’s been a total team effort with everyone all pulling together,” Finley said.
A post on BUCKEYE Nutrition’s Facebook page read: “On Friday, June 17, 2022, smoldering feed was found in a feed bin within our MARS Horsecare/BUCKEYE Nutrition facility in Dalton, OH. First responders were informed and called to the facility. The fire risk grew overnight requiring evacuation of the surrounding area. The quick action of first responders, local law enforcement and local media helped to communicate the evacuation order. Early morning on Saturday, June 18, the fire risk diminished and the evacuation was called off. We strive to be good neighbors in the community, and greatly apologize for the inconvenience caused last night. Thankfully, there have been no injuries to our Associates, first responders or community members.

“The situation is currently stable and we are continuously monitoring with support from the Fire Marshalls and other fire personnel. We are hopeful the fire will be out soon and things are looking positive, although we are not out of the woods just yet. We are so appreciative of the area fire departments and other first responders who are there during our time of need.”

Read the complete story in the June 22, 2022 edition.

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