This morning our Kent Fire crews were dispatched to a report of a fire in the Star of the West Mill facility. Flour mills and fires do not mix so this was a very serious call that prompted immediate action not just from Kent but from all the Fire Departments in the surrounding areas that understood the risks of a mill fire. Thankfully, when duty called our crews were ready. Here’s a copy of my short report of the incident to City Council.
I just returned from the scene of this morning’s Star of the West mill fire and I’m pleased to report that our fire crews (working closely with crews from Brimfield, Ravenna, and Stow) were able to contain and extinguish the fire that seems to have started in roof area of the upper floor of the mill. Under Chief Williams’ direction our fire crews got the job done when it counted most and I am extremely grateful for their quick and professional action. Mill fires are nothing to mess around with and if things had not gone so smoothly this morning we would have been facing a volatile explosion hazard. Thankfully, the crews were able to get in the building and put the fire out before we had to face an extremely dangerous situation and likely evacuation of the entire block.
It was unclear to me how much damage the fire did to the mill operations but I saw the Mill Manager from a distance and he looked both relieved to have the fire out but stressed with all the work to be done to get his operations back on line. Despite the heat of the day and the fire our crews had few injuries other than what appeared to be a case of heat stress.
Our community averted what could have been a significant disaster and I can’t express enough my appreciation for everyone that was involved in responding to the call of duty. I watched with a mixture of pride and admiration for the teamwork, skill and expertise that all the crews displayed today. We certainly never want to have fire events occur but when they do we are reminded just how fortunate we all are to live in a community that is proudly served by the Kent Fire Department.
My thanks to everyone involved.