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Former Hewitt Soap facility in Dayton to be demolished

Published: Thursday, December 22, 2016 @ 8:58 PM
By: Breaking News Staff

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.

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