Electrical short in fan caused factory fire

A firefighter sprays water onto hot spots inside a building destroyed Thursday at the Woodland Scenic’s manufacturing plant in Linn Creek.

A firefighter sprays water onto hot spots inside a building destroyed Thursday at the Woodland Scenic’s manufacturing plant in Linn Creek. Photo by Ceil Abbott.

LINN CREEK, Mo. — An electrical short in an exhaust fan was cited as the cause of a Thursday afternoon fire that destroyed about half of a factory of the town’s largest employer.

The fan was located near the roof of one of two destroyed buildings at Woodland Scenics, said Jeff Dorhauer, Osage Beach Fire Protection District chief. The factory is composed of four or five buildings, he said.

The blaze, which was discovered by factory workers shortly after noon Thursday, took the combined efforts of nearly every fire department around Lake of the Ozarks to control. Because of the intensity of the blaze and the fact the buildings in the city’s downtown are so close to each together, it took firefighters nearly four hours and the town’s entire water supply to bring the blaze under control.

By the time firefighters arrived on the scene, the 150 or so employees of the factory had been evacuated, and there were no injuries, said Mark Amsinger, Lake Ozark Fire Protection District chief.

By 10 a.m. Friday, what remained of the factory was open for business. An employee at the entrance of the factory Friday said, “We are still working, and the company has no further statement at this time.”

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