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Former Hewitt Soap facility in Dayton to be demolished

Published: Thursday, December 22, 2016 @ 8:58 PM

Crews had to demolish part of the old soap factory on Linden Avenue in Dayton to get to some hot spots after a massive fire.

Firefighters are concerned with the structural stability of the former Hewitt Soap Co. facility after fire severely damaged the building Thursday night. 

  • Firefighters are fearful the building could partially collapse, which could send debris flying into Linden Avenue. 
  • Linden Avenue, between East Fifth Street and Hamilton Avenue blocked overnight hours through the morning. 
  • Firefighters have not given an update to our crew on the status of fighting the blaze. 

Update@11:50 p.m.:

Fire officials have said this morning the building will have to be demolished because it’s unstable.

Fire officials received the first call that the structure was on fire about 8:45 p.m. Thursday, said Bryan Adams, public information office for the Dayton fire department. 

He said officials have not determined the cause of the blaze, but firefighters know that it started outside of the building. 

While fighting the fire crews were concerned about the size of the blaze   because the flames burned through the roof in spots and caused the top floor in sections of the building to collapse, Adams said, Adams said. 

There were also concerns that part of the building would collapse onto Linden, which is why crews were out this morning checking the structural integrity of some of the exterior walls that are up against Linden. That subsequently led to the decision to raze the structure. 

The building was vacant but was maintained. Adams called it a "well-secured building." First report:

Thursday night, flames spread over the entire building at the former Hewitt Soap Co. headquarters site in Dayton.

The fire, described by fire crews as “fully involved,” light up the night sky in the area around 333 Linden Avenue. Flames swirled about 90 feet above the building.

PHOTOS: Building burns in Dayton

MORE: Firefighters deal with massive flames

The blaze was reported around 8:45 p.m., and multiple fire trucks were called to the scene.

The soap company was founded in 1897 in Dayton and was in operation until 2004 when it was bought by a competitor, which later closed the facility. At its peak, it was the nation’s second-largest maker of specialty soaps, including the small bars used in hotels.

At its peak, Dayton-based Hewitt Soap Co. at 333 Linden Ave. was the nation's second-largest specialty soap maker, including the small bars used in hotels. LISA POWELL / STAFF FILEStaff photo by Lisa Powell

SR-741 to be closed for at least 6 hours following crash

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 3:43 PM
Updated: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 4:45 PM

UPDATE @ 4:45 p.m.

Those headed to the 5:30 p.m. Springboro High School boys basketball scrimmage, coming from south of Ohio 741 and Red Lion-Five Points Road, should use Interstate 75 to get to the game.

On northbound I-75, get off at the East Fourth Street exit and go right on West Lower Springboro Road. Turn right on South Main Street (Ohio 741). Springboro High School will be on the right at 1675 S. Main St.

RELATED: See more trending stories on WHIO.com

For the latest traffic information, tune in to AM 1290 or News 95.7, or visit the WHIO traffic page.

UPDATE @ 4:17 p.m.

The Ohio Department of Transportation said state Route 741 will be shut down for 6 to 7 hours near Red Lion-Five Points Road. Duke Energy is on scene repairing a pole and said the damages will take an extended time to fix. The driver was an man and not a student, according to authorities. 

The Springboro boys basketball team has a scrimmage scheduled tonight and drivers will need to find an alternate route to Springboro High School. 

FIRST REPORT

State Route 741 is currently closed due to a one car accident near Red Lion-Five Points Road just south of Springboro High School.

RELATED: See more trending stories on WHIO.com

The crash reportedly happened around 2:30 p.m. Friday afternoon when a driver hit an electric pole. The driver was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries according to the Clearcreek Township Fire Department. 

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The pole was reportedly ripped in half and Duke Energy is on scene working to repair the damages. We will bring you the latest developments in this story. 

I-75 north in Miami County reopens following string of crashes

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 10:25 AM
Updated: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 12:45 PM

2 semis collide on 75 northbound in Troy

UPDATE @ 2:11 p.m.:

Interstate 75 north in Troy has reopened at Ohio 55 after a series of multiple crashes on the highway earlier today. Traffic remained slow through the area as of 2:15 p.m.

UPDATE @ 12:45 p.m. 

Northbound Interstate 75 is shut down in Troy after two additional crashes have been reported in the backup of an earlier crash. 

State troopers remain on scene of the original crash near the 78 mile marker, about five miles north of Troy. The left lane remains blocked due to that crash, first reported around 10:10 a.m. 

Around 12:30 p.m., two separate crashes occurred in the near the Ohio 55 exit to Troy that were in the backup from the original crash. All northbound lanes are shut down at the Ohio 55 exit, according to state troopers. 

OSP Piqua post is investigating a crash involving 2 semis

FIRST REPORT

State troopers and medics have responded to a crash that left a tractor trailer on its side on northbound Interstate 75 north of Troy Friday morning. 

State troopers and medics responded to the highway, about five miles north of Troy around 10:10 a.m. 

The crash in the northbound lanes of I-75 is located near the County Road 25-A exit between Troy and Piqua.  One lane is currently open, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

A second crash in the southbound lanes of Interstate 75 about two miles north of the northbound crash has traffic down to one lane on that side of the highway, the patrol said.

We have a crew on the scene and we’ll update this page as new details become available. 

Dayton grocery fire: Kroger, others offer help to neighborhood

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 11:12 AM


            Debris is heaped along East Third Street in Dayton where the Food For Less grocery stood until destroyed in a Nov. 9 fire. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF
            Chris Stewart
Debris is heaped along East Third Street in Dayton where the Food For Less grocery stood until destroyed in a Nov. 9 fire. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF(Chris Stewart)

In response to the recent fire that destroyed the Food For Less on East Third Street in Dayton, another grocer is sponsoring five food distributions for families impacted through The Foodbank’s Mobile Food Pantry.

The first distribution will be Tuesday at The FoodBank, followed by four weekly distributions through Dec. 21 at Laborers’ Local 1410.

“Kroger is pleased to help ease the worries of residents who lost their grocery store in a fire last week with a few options to get much needed food and grocery items,” said Tim Brown, Kroger, Cincinnati/Dayton Division president. “The mobile pantry will be a lifeline to residents who depended on their community store.”

MORE: Dayton grocery fire: Neighbors scramble to find food, way to pay bills

Distributions are open to those impacted by the fire. Clients must meet household eligibility requirements and provide a photo ID and proof of residence.

Michelle L. Riley, CEO of The Foodbank, said partners like Kroger and Laborers’ Local 1410 will help ensure East Dayton residents have access to fresh food while they struggle with the loss of the store.

“Dayton is a town full of generous people who care about community,” she said. “Together, we will make life a little easier for our neighbors impacted by this tremendous loss.”

Because the building was a total loss, it could be some time before the cause of the fire is determined, said Dayton Fire Department spokesman Bryan Adams.

“A lot of damage makes it harder to investigate,” he said.

On Nov. 18, Grace Cares, a ministry of Grace Baptist Church in Kettering, in partnership with Kroger, will begin offering free shuttle transportation from the closed Food For Less store to Kroger at 1024 S. Smithville Road. The service will run on Mondays from 4-5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 12-3 p.m.

Lutfi Hussein, the owner of Food For Less, said the fire was “devastating.”

Hussein, who also owns the People’s Market on North Main Street, said he is determined to rebuild Food For Less, but future plans will be guided by the amount of any insurance settlement.

“It was never in our mind to put the clients or our customers in any hardship,” he said. “We are as much victims as they are and I hope one day we’ll put it back together — and soon — and be able to have them back again. I understand what they are going through and sympathize.”

Food distributions for families impacted by Food For Less fire

- Nov. 21

10-11 a.m.

The Foodbank

56 Armor Place, Dayton

Note: This is distribution is only open to 45403 zip code and the surrounding communities

- Nov. 29th; Dec. 4, 12, 21

11 a.m.-noon

Laborers’ Local 1410

2228 E. Third Street, Dayton

Note: These are open to anyone in need of food assistance

Surveillance video captures Hewitt Soap Factory fire begin

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 11:50 AM

This is video of fires burning from The Glass Hat across the street from the Hewitt Soap Factory.

Surveillance video from The Glass Hat bar captures the moments as the Hewitt Soap Factory began to burn late last week and now that bar’s owner is questioning whether firefighters did enough to protect her business from damage.

“My siding, the whole outside of my bar is melted.  It’s horrible,” said owner Deanna Huitt.  “You see the firemen walking around the camera, but there was nobody spraying the building or spraying my business.”

We’re expecting the Dayton Fire Department to respond to Huitt’s claims Friday afternoon.

NEW FOOTAGE: Aftermath of Hewitt Soap Factory large fire

Huitt said it was at least 30 minutes into the surveillance video before a firefighter can be seen using the hose.

Firefighters said at the time of the fire there were water pressure issues and the fire department had to contact the city to increase the pressure to fight the flames.

Huitt told News Center 7’s Kate Bartley that she’d been keeping a close eye on the former soap factory and said she’s called police several times when she’s  seen trespassers get inside.

Huitt just hopes she doesn’t have to pay the thousands of dollars she expects the repairs to cost.

We asked the owner and facility manager at the soap factory if they would assist in fixing the damage to the bar and they said they were unable to talk about it.