Fire officials said oil-soaked absorbent pads kept crews on the scene of a blaze Tuesday at an industrial dry cleaning company for almost 12 hours.
Union Fire Protection District Chief Russ Hamilton said there were nine fire districts on the scene of the three-alarm fire and two more stationed within the Union district.
He said the first crews were dispatched at 1:05 a.m. to the to Akcire Group, Inc., located at 6 Chad Lane, Union. The building is off of Prairie Dell Road.
“The nature of business is they bring in oil-soaked absorbent pads, launder those pads and ship them back out,” said Hamilton. “They have a system set up where pads go through an extractor and then through a dry-cleaning process.”
Fire crews with equipment from Union, St. Clair, Beaufort-Leslie, Boles, Pacific, Washington, Marthasville, Gerald-Rosebud and Sullivan all responded to the scene.
Eureka and Metro West fire companies were stationed at Union Firehouse No. 3.Hamilton said there were both oil-soaked pads and clean pads that were on fire.
“Of course the oil-soaked rags burned a lot faster,” he said. “It was a very tedious process to get that extinguished.”
Hamilton added that many of the pads were stacked in piles or shrink wrapped and stored off the ground waiting to be loaded into trucks.
“I would call it a total loss,” he said.
At 12:30 p.m. Tuesday there still was a Union rescue truck at the scene with a crew assisting Franklin County Arson Investigator Jim Schuhmacher with an investigation.