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

Power outage ends for most near Miami Valley Hospital, UD student neighborhoods

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 7:17 PM
Updated: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 7:41 PM

Brown Street loses power

UPDATE @ 7:39 p.m.:  The DP&L online outage map now shows 126 customers without power along Brown Street, near Miami Valley Hospital and the UD student neighborhoods, from Chambers Street to U.S. 35. 

A hospital administrator at MVH said the hospital is operating on generator power. 

Elevators there stopped immediately when the outage struck about 6:45 p.m., she said. Workers and security were able to get everyone off the cars, she said. 

No patients were put in danger because of the outage, she said.

INITIAL REPORT

Hundreds of businesses and residences along Brown Street, near Miami Valley Hospital and the University of Dayton student neighborhoods, are without power. 

According to the Dayton Power & Light online outage map, nearly 1,200 customers are affected. 

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Calls began coming into the newsroom just before 7 p.m. 

We’re hearing the outage extends along Brown Street, from Chambers Street west to U.S. 35. 

Jimmy’s Ladder 11, in the 900 block of Brown, and Subway, in the 1100 block, are among the businesses in the dark. 

We have a call into DP&L for details about the possible cause of the outage.

Stay with whio.com for breaking news.

What happens to veterans if the government shuts down?

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 6:36 PM

Dayton VA Medical Center STAFF FILE PHOTO
Staff Writer
Dayton VA Medical Center STAFF FILE PHOTO(Staff Writer)

Vital services for veterans will not be threatened if the government shuts down this weekend. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities, including the Dayton VA Medical Center, would remain open.

After previous partial shutdowns caused headaches for the VA, the department lobbied Congress to fund the VA on a two-year budget cycle. That exempts the department from the latest funding skirmish in Washington.

About 4 percent of the department’s workforce — nearly 16,000 workers — would be subject to furloughs during a shutdown, with almost half of that total coming from the Veterans Benefits Administration, according to Navy Times

Veterans would still get checks during a shutdown, but some education benefit programs would cease as well as the hearing of case appeals. 

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LOCAL IMPACT: Government shutdown threatens 100th birthday party for Springfield veteran

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 4:33 PM

Government shutdown threatens 100th birthday party for Springfield veteran

Kevin Black hadn’t thought about how the possibility of a government shutdown would affect his family.

World War II veteran Thomas Eubanks of Springfield turns 100 on Jan. 23. To celebrate, his grandson, Black, organized a birthday party for him at the Air Force Museum on Saturday.

With the possibility of the government shutting down tonight, the museum may not open, and the outlook of the party is up in the air.

“I don’t like the playing politics on this,” Black said. “They’re just playing games.”

RELATED: With no deal on shutdown, GOP accuses Sherrod Brown of flip-flop

The possible museum closure hadn’t occurred to Black or his family until this news organization contacted him about the party, which he had asked us to cover.

His family wasn’t the only ones uncertain of what will happen next.

Diana Bachert, spokeswoman for the Air Force Museum, said Friday night in a statement there is currently no order for the museum to shut down.

“However, we will follow procedures for an orderly shutdown when and how we are directed to do so,” Bachert said.

If Congress fails to come to an agreement on a continuing resolution (CR), a bill that appropriates money to different federal departments and programs, some federal agencies could come to a standstill.

MORE: What if UD and Wright State played this year in a Gem City Jam?

Black’s plan is for Congressman Warren Davidson to present Eubanks with a certificate, then Black will present his grandfather with letters from President Donald Trump and Gov. John Kasich.

But if there is no CR passed, Congress plans to stay in Washington and try to come to an agreement, meaning Davidson may have to miss the party.

Black said his grandfather doesn’t know about the planned celebration at the museum.

“He just thinks that a bunch of the grandkids are taking him to the museum,” Black said.

And he probably will continue to keep plans a secret, in case the museum isn’t open.

“(Eubanks) was sick a couple weeks after Christmas, and we didn’t think he was going to be able to go (to the museum). But he wants to go if they don’t shut down,” Black said.

MORE: What if a government shutdown happened? Five things to know

Eubanks is a widower; his wife Suzanne died in 2000. They were married for 59 years.

In WWII he served as tail gunner in the European theatre, an area of heavy fighting across the continent. He flew 13 combat missions from Knettishall Airfield in England.

“Tail gunner was the worst place to be,” said Black, who is retired from the Air Force.

He worked as a building inspector for Springfield for several years.

He lives in Oakwood Village Retirement Home in Springfield. He has four children, nine grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and four great, great-grandchildren.

“He’s got all his wits about him,” Black said.

No serious injuries among children in Butler County school bus-truck collision

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 4:35 PM
Updated: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 4:43 PM

School bus rear ended by truck in Trenton

UPDATE @ 4:40 p.m.: At least a couple of students are receiving medical attention in the pickup truck-school bus collision on Wayne Madison Road, but there are no serious injuries, Edgewood Schools Spokeswoman Pam Pratt said. 

The children are from Edgewood Elementary, she said, and they are in grades 2 through 5. 

District officials are telephoning parents and guardians to arrange rides home, Pratt said.

A pickup truck rear ended an Edgewood school bus Friday, Jan. 19 on Wayne Madison Road in Trenton. Several students were transported to the hospital with minor injuries and the driver of the pickup was transported to the hospital. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

INITIAL REPORT

Police and medic crews are at a collision in the 3200 block of Wayne Madison Road involving a school bus and a pickup truck. 

Several of the children on the bus have complained of neck and back pain. Medical personnel are evaluating the children and are taking some to a hospital. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Tough decisions led to Good Samaritan closing

Crews were dispatched just after 4 p.m. on the report of a vehicle accident that been described as a pickup truck that rear-ended a school bus. 

The accident occurred near Noah's Ark Child Development Center, 3259 Wayne Madison Road. 

Edgewood Schools Superintendent Russ Fussnecker and other district officials are on the way to the scene.

We have a crew on the way to check out the accident. We will update this developing report.