A Tuesday night fire produced toxic smoke that forced officials to keep the public away and stay inside their homes in Kentland, IN. The massive fire at International Cushioning Company broke out about 8:30 pm, alerting firemen from several area communities.
The company makes bubble wrap packing material. That produced the thick, toxic smoke that kept firefighters at bay. Kentland Fire Chief Matt Wittenborn reported that 15 people employees inside escaped without injury. The flames spread quickly, causing the hazardous smoke. The operation is near the corner of U.S. 24 and U.S. 52. The company makes packing peanuts and bubble wrap, which are highly flammable. The building is a total loss.
Transportation officials closed a stretch of Route 24 between Kentland and Goodland. The lack of water supply brought in area fire departments. The burning building is over 44,000 square feet. It's one of two buildings the packing company operates. The building is a total loss. The cause is unknown.
Fire crews responding including several from Iroquois County and Newton, White, Cass, Tippecanoe and Warren Counties in Indiana.