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Fire at Indiana County lumber yard appears accidental; loss set at $350K

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Sunday, July 27, 2014, 7:39 p.m.

A Saturday fire at an Indiana County lumber yard that destroyed a building appears to be an accident, according to fire officials.

The blaze broke out at 5:30 p.m. in a storage building at Schroth Industries along Martin Road in White. Indiana Fire Association Third Assistant Chief Michael Empfield said the structure housed numerous pieces of equipment.

Owner Walter Schroth was using a Bobcat loader to do work at the site Saturday and pulled next to the storage building to put fuel in the piece of equipment from a fuel tank, Empfield said. The heat from the loader, which had been running for a few hours, caused the fuel to ignite, catching the building on fire. Schroth escaped injury, Empfield said.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze and returned to the site at 3:30 a.m. Sunday for a rekindle.

Empfield estimated the value of the building and contents at $350,000.

The lumber company and wood-treatment plant has been in the Schroth family since its establishment in 1920, according to the business website. No one answered the phone at the business Sunday afternoon.

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