Fire destroys business: Firefighters unsure what caused blaze


Standing just yards from the business they’ve operated since 1988 in Reddington, Larry and Beverly Bryant didn’t know what to say as they watched their building engulfed in flames.

“I can’t even get my head wrapped around that this has happened,” Beverly Bryant said softly as smoke billowed out the top of the structure.

No injuries were reported and no one was inside the building on the 1.4-acre property at the time the fire was reported at 2:32 p.m. Saturday at Integrity Manufacturing Inc. at 10350 U.S. 31 North. The firm was once known as Preferred Tool Co. Inc.

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Redding Township Volunteer Fire Department Chief Seth Thompson said the cause of the fire that took firefighters around six hours to get under control was unknown.

“We think it may have been electrical, but I can’t really say,” he said, adding the fire is suspected to have started behind the office portion of the building. “It was a total loss besides a lawn mower and some other small stuff we got for them.”

Thompson said the building contained plastics, oil, hydraulic fluid, heavy machinery and other materials that burned. He said there were no environmental concerns, because everything burned off and was contained to the building.

“It was all inside, and there was a concrete floor,” he said.

The company employs six people and operates a plastic injection and machining business to supply Henry Schwein, a dental equipment company.

Police were on scene to help direct traffic and let fire trucks through on U.S. 31.

The Bryants were watching television in their Seymour home when friends called to say there was a fire in Reddington and wanted to make sure their building was not affected. The 11,622-square-foot building was erected in 1984.

The couple said they didn’t think so and continued about their day before being called back to say their building had caught fire and it was burning.

“We didn’t think much about it,” Beverly said. “They told us that someone on the fire department told them it was our building.”

A vacant house near the building was not damaged by the fire, Thompson said. He said there was no one at Reddington Christian Church north of the structure during the time of the fire either.

Thompson said first responders had difficulties extinguishing the fire, because it burned for approximately 10 minutes before anyone knew it was on fire.

“We were kind of behind the eight ball since it was burning, but that’s no one’s fault, it’s just people didn’t see it was on fire,” he said. “Nobody was here to know about it.”

Thompson also acknowledged the size of the building posed its own challenges to get the fire under control.

“That’s one of the biggest buildings in Reddington,” he said, adding approximately 30 firefighters were on scene.

Larry Bryant said the company had scaled back operations in recent years, but employed 40 people between the late 1990s and 2008.

He said new plastic injection machines had recently been purchased and installed in the shop behind the office of the building.

Firefighters from Redding, Hamilton and Jackson-Washington township volunteer fire departments responded to the fire. Officers with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department also assisted at the scene.

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