No cause yet for Salem fire - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

No cause yet for Salem fire

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SALEM, Ohio -

The cause of a major fire that destroyed a historic factory in Salem remains undetermined.  

The State Fire Marshall was on the scene Wednesday.

The day after the fire, water was still being poured onto the smoldering ruins of the former Salem China Company of South Broadway Avenue.  

Fire investigators had to walk through smoke and avoid flare-ups from hot spots as they began looking for the origin of the fire.  Salem Chief Scott Mason said the size of the structure and the total destruction will make determining a cause more difficult.

"At this time, it's probably going to be undetermined and under investigation just because of the extensive damage," Chief Mason said.

The chief says nothing initially suggests the fire might be suspicious. "We're looking into all avenues right now.  We believe where it started there wasn't power to the building, so we're going to look into that," Mason added.

The building is owned by the Church Budget and Envelope Company of Salem and was used for storage of large paper stock and other supplies. The company produces offering envelopes and other printed materials to churches around the country.

At the Church Budget and Envelope Company, it was business as usual and they don't anticipate any disruption of customer service.

"But we're assessing what we lost and trying to figure out what we need to order for additional supplies that we had stored down there, and that's pretty much it," said company spokesman Barry Pidgeon. 

No dollar estimate on the loss has been determined, but overtime for the city of Salem will be significant. 

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