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

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Councilman apologizes for comments to Plush family amid calls for resignation

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 4:49 AM

Cincinnati council member apologizes to Plush family

A Cincinnati councilman is apologizing for comments he made to Kyle Plush’s family while the county’s republican chairman has called for his resignation.

Democratic Cincinnati City Councilman Wendell Young implied Plush’s family may seek financial compensation for the teen’s death in a Tuesday special council meeting, saying, “But there’s no amount of money that’s going to make you happy.”

Kyle Plush suffocated in a van last week despite calling 911 twice.

>> RELATED: Family of Kyle Plush storms out of Cincinnati special council meeting

“The choice of words I used, while not intending to cause hurt, allowed them to misinterpret what I was trying to say,” Young said at Wednesday’s council meeting, according to our partners at WCPO. “My fault entirely.”

Alex Triantafilou, chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party, called for Young’s resignation, according to WCPO.

>>RELATED: How did Cincinnati teen become trapped, suffocate in van seat?

“I was offended and hurt for the family,” Triantafilou said. “I think our community has been so affected by this tragedy, and to have an elected leader in government make remarks that were so cross and painful — I was sad. I was saddened by the whole thing.”

Young's colleagues on city council said the exchange was embarrassing. 

>> RELATED: Who was Kyle Plush? Community remembers teen crushed to death by van seat

"You have to be ultra-sensitive and supportive of the family, and he definitely missed the mark there," Republican Amy Murray said. "It was shocking to me." 

Democrat Tamaya Dennard also called it "shocking," while fellow Democrat Greg Landsman called it "awful." 

"I don't know how to explain it. It was a terrible, terrible thing," Landsman said. 

>> RELATED: ‘Tell my mom I love her if I die’, teen pleads as van seat fatally crushes him

Tim Burke, the county's Democratic Party chairman, told WCPO by phone that calls for Young's resignation were unjustified.

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Local man wins $20,000 in popular ‘HQ Trivia’ game app 

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 2:31 AM

Local man wins $20K from popular phone app

A Miamisburg man won $20,000 after recently playing the popular HQ Trivia game app on his phone.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Butler County, Cincinnati  shops offer deals for Record Store Day

Jason Varney answered 15 trivia questions correctly on the app that typically allows people, twice a day, to attempt to get 12 trivia questions right in efforts to win part of a $5,000 jackpot.

In Varney’s case, the prize amount went up to $250,000 as part of a marketing deal between the app and a movie. The increased prize money also called for an increase in the number of questions he had to answer, from 12 to 15.

“When I was getting past question 12, my heart was pumping out of my shirt. I could’t believe what was going. It was visibly beating through my shirt. It was incredible”, Varney said. 

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He said the $20,000 will allow him to fly to Florida to see his great grandmother, who is recovering from a heart procedure. 

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40-plus cats euthanized after infection sweeps Tenn. animal shelter 

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 4:15 AM

Animal lovers angry after 40-plus cats euthanized at Tenn shelter.

An animal shelter in Tennessee is defending its decision to euthanize more than 40 cats after an infection swept through the facility. 

>> Woman hospitalized after pet cat attacks 

According to WATE-TV, animal lovers became outraged after learning the Pets without Parents shelter, which was reported to be a “no-kill” facility, put down dozens of cats. 

After weeks of attempting to nurse close to 50 cats that became infected with upper respiratory infections back to health, the shelter said euthanization was their last resort and only option. 

“My heart is animals,” said Lory Souders, the shelter’s president. “I’ve tried to save as many as I can.”

Although a number of people in the community claim the shelter isn’t doing enough to properly care for the animals and prevent disease from spreading, Souders says the problem is overcrowding.

>> Cat rescued from tree near Hospice of Dayton

Pets Without Parents has a contract with the county and the city, and must accept all pets dropped off by animal control.

"We have had a situation here," Souders said. "We've been full for a long time."

Not only are they full, but they're well over capacity. The facility is built to house around 150 pets, and it's now holding more than 200.

Despite the overcrowded challenges, Souders said the only time they euthanize is when animals are either too aggressive or too sick to find a new home.

What the facility really needs, according to Souders, is for more people to give shelter animals loving homes.

Souders hopes this unfortunate situation raises awareness about adopting and volunteering with animals. 

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Reported house fire in Dayton prompts crews to respond 

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 1:33 AM

Dayton fire crews responded to the 1400 block of McLain Street on a working structure fire late Wednesday night.

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The incident was dispatched around 11:25 p.m. after a complainant called saying a house was on fire, according to officials.

No word on what caused the fire’s start or if anyone was inside the home at the time. 

We’re working to learn more details and will continue to update this story.

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