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EXPLOSION, FIRE CAUSE HEAVY DAMAGE AT FURNITURE FACTORY

An explosion and fire in the boiler room-area heavily damaged the Ethan Allen furniture factory Monday.

Mayville firefighters were called to the plant at 8 Barton St. just after 4 a.m.

Connie Mullhaupt, personnel assistant at the plant, said "The neighbor, right next to the plant, is one of our employees, and he said it shook his windows, so we know it was an explosion."

She said the fire happened "at the worst possible time. We are very busy trying to deal with a lot of orders and we need to be back in business."

The plant has 210 employees. Some of the workers called in Monday and were asked to come in to help clean up.

The boiler room was heavily damaged and there was extensive water damage to the entire building when the sprinkler system activated.

Fire Battalion Coordinator Butch Briggs said if not for the sprinkler system, the entire building might have been lost.

Mayville's aerial truck was used to help douse the flames, along with similar equipment from Chautauqua and Lakewood. Dewittville, Westfield, and Ashville firefighters were also called to the scene.

There were no injuries. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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