published Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Whitfield County warehouse burns

 Whitfield County firefighters work to extinguish hot spots that smoldered at the Signs Graphics Print Inc. warehouse in Dalton, Ga.
Whitfield County firefighters work to extinguish hot spots that smoldered at the Signs Graphics Print Inc. warehouse in Dalton, Ga.
Photo by Dan Henry.
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DALTON, Ga. — An early morning fire that destroyed a warehouse in southern Whitfield County continued to smolder Wednesday afternoon as firefighters remained at the scene.

Some parts of the Signs Graphics Printing building burned throughout the day, including about 8,000 pounds of thin, plastic sheets, Whitfield County Assistant Chief Randy Kittle said.

“We can’t really get to it to put it out,” he said.

He said he did not know how long firefighters would stay on the scene.

Officials have not determined how the fire on South Dixie Highway started.

The warehouse, filled with raw materials and printed products, was a total loss, but the fire will not halt the company’s manufacturing process, Human Resources Director Jamie Kennedy said.

The Dalton business has about 50 employees who will continue working at its separate manufacturing center, Kennedy said.

“It was a warehouse for storage, not where anyone worked,” he said.

Kennedy said the business was fully insured but officials had not yet assessed the loss. In addition to products, some machines and equipment were stored in the warehouse, he said.

Kittle said firefighters were called about 3 a.m. Wednesday. The fire already was through the roof in the front part of the building when firefighters arrived, he said.

About 35 firefighters from several Whitfield County departments battled the blaze for hours before they were able to contain it, he said. The warehouse was about 15,000 square feet.

Officials will need to bring in equipment to remove debris before they will be able to tell how the fire started, Kittle said.

“They haven’t been able to start an investigation yet,” he said.

about Mariann Martin...

Mariann Martin covers healthcare in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. She joined the Times Free Press in February 2011, after covering crime and courts for the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun for two years. Mariann was born in Indiana, but grew up in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Belize. She graduated from Union University in 2005 with degrees in English and history and has master’s degrees in international relations and history from the University of Toronto. While attending Union, ...

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