Firefighters battled a large fire this morning in Lapel that destroyed much of a central Indiana furniture manufacturer and produced a smoke plume visible for miles.
No injuries were reported from the fire at Hickory Furniture Design, Madison County Sheriff Ron Richardson said.
Brad McQueen, the business’ owner, said 10 to 12 workers were inside the building when a spark from a tool ignited the fire. He told The Herald Bulletin of Anderson that workers tried to put the blaze out with an extinguisher, but it grew out of control and the building had no sprinkler system.
Richardson said crews from seven departments were helping fight the fire, which was reported about 9:30 a.m. in the town about 20 miles northeast of Indianapolis. Firefighters were trying to protect houses near the business, which is located in a residential area, and used large cranes to pour water on flames.
The fire by midday had destroyed a large section of the factory, which makes rustic furniture from hickory sticks and logs.
Lapel Town Council Vice President Dennis Morin said the business is located in a former bowling alley.
“It’s such a shame. The man who owns it a really nice guy,” Morin said.