Fire Rips Through MS Wheel Factory

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 @ 04:06 PM gHale


A fire starting from a piece of equipment at a Tupelo, MS, factory that makes lawn tractor wheels may have resulted in millions of dollars in damage.

No one suffered an injury in the blaze at Custom Engineered Wheels, which broke out late Thursday. Officials said the fire that gutted the 36,000-square foot building was accidental, starting on a piece of equipment.

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The building had no sprinkler system.

Custom Engineered Wheels supplies wheels to lawn equipment maker MTD Products in Verona.

Plant manager Chris Marinello said the company hopes to fill the gap with inventory in a neighboring warehouse, plus production from plants in Indiana and Mexico.

The Tupelo plant had about 50 workers. Some employees will get paid, but others won’t.

Marinello is not sure how much of its $15 million in equipment is salvageable.