Employees evacuated the manufacturing plant, 863 Route 307, when a fire broke out at about 10:10 p.m. on the northwest wall and ceiling of the building.
“We feel (the cause of) it was propane-related in the heating units,” Lachey said.
Everyone made it out safely, he said.
Area residents heard an explosion followed by sirens, making many wonder what happened.
East Jefferson Street resident Linda Masirovits said she was standing at her kitchen sink at about 10:15 p.m. when she heard a boom.
“It was a really loud, scary, long boom,” she said. “It shook our house and sounded like it was right above the roof.”
Her daughter, Wendy Stainfield, heard and felt the explosion several miles away on Webster Road in Lenox Township, she said.
Investigators believe the fire started in heating units that recirculate air throughout the plant.
It took Jefferson Fire Department, assisted by Plymouth, Pierpont, Dorset, Austinburg and Ashtabula townships’ fire departments, about 20 minutes to extinguish the blaze. Firefighters stayed on the scene until about 1 a.m., Lachey said.
“The fire was contained; the sprinkler system went off and knocked down a lot of the fire,” he said.