Factory Fire Shuts Down Cheese Plant

Friday, October 23, 2015 @ 11:10 AM gHale

A malfunctioning exhaust fan in the production area of Sun-Re Cheese Co. in Sunbury, PA, was the cause behind the fire that caused at least $3 million worth of damage and brought the cheese manufacturing business to a indefinite halt last weekend.

All evidence pointed to a 36-inch window fan on the first floor on the eastern end of the building toward Zimmerman Motors, said Sunbury Fire Chief Ken Kipple and State Police Fire Marshal Trooper Kirk Renn. The fan is one of several in the production area.

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The first alarm went out at 7:51 a.m. Sunday after someone noticed the smoke and fire at the rear of the plant. No one was in the plant at the time and the fire quickly took off in the manufacturing plant.

Investigators are not sure whether the fan or the controls caused the fire, the chief said.

Kipple said the investigation consisted of witness statements, photographic and video evidence and sifting through the remains. The video feed confirmed what their theories were, he said.

Kipple and the fire marshal estimated the damage at $3 million, but the exact number is likely to change when the company’s insurance company finishes their claim.