Stacked cardboard boxes placed too close to radiant ceiling heaters caused a fire that did about $180,000 in damage to engine compartments in the warehouse area at Detroit Diesel on Monday, firefighters said. The smoke also impacted thousands of items stored there by Goodwill of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio, rendering those items “too damaged to be sold in any of the stores,” said Robyn Steinmetz, vice president of marketing at Goodwill.
The damage left Goodwill pleading Tuesday for more donations from the public. No one was injured in the 12:09 p.m. blaze at 818 Mulberry Road SE, although firefighters were initially told that someone may have been trapped inside. Battalion Chief Jeff Magee said in a news release that everyone had made it safely out of the burning building.
“On arrival, units found a working structure fire at a large commercial building housing Detroit Diesel industrial supplies,” Magee said, noting that the large warehouse contains diesel engine components.
“The components were contained in cardboard boxes that had been stacked vertically and were too close to radiant ceiling heaters,” Magee said. “When the heaters activated due to the cold weather, they ignited the cardboard boxes. Two sprinkler heads activated and confined the fire to area of origin. Firefighters pulled a hoseline to extinguish the fire that could not be reached by the sprinklers.”
The structure wasn’t damaged, but about $180,000 in damage was done to the engine compartments, Magee said. The impact also hit Goodwill.
“Goodwill’s business model relies on donations from the community, which are sold in Goodwill stores, with the revenue helping to support local programs and services that help residents train for, find and keep good jobs,” Steinmetz said in a news release Tuesday.
The donated items that had been inside the warehouse would have been rotated throughout the stores in Stark, Tuscarawas, Carroll, Jefferson and Harrison counties in Ohio and Brooke and Hancock counties in West Virginia, she said.
“Stark County has always been supportive of Goodwill, and we are asking everyone to continue that tradition right now by making it a priority to drop off those donations you’ve been meaning to drop off, or using this time to clean out some closets, basements, or attics in time for the holidays,” said Doug Widrig, Goodwill’s vice president of retail operations. “It will feel good for you, and it will help Goodwill recover from this unfortunate event.”
Steinmetz pointed out that Goodwill stores and donation locations can be found online at http://www.goodwillgoodskills.org/.