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Fire Evacuates Workers At Crothersville Factory

Last updated on Wednesday, February 8, 2012

(CROTHERSVILLE) - Employees of an electronic connectors maker in Crothersville received part of the day off Monday after an early morning fire halted production for several hours.

Craig Mull is plant manager at Versatech, which makes electronic connectors at 400 W. Howard St. in the southeastern Jackson County community.

The fire was reported at 11:19 a.m. Monday on the east side of the plant along Kovener Street at Dixon Street.

The building was evacuated and no one was injured.

Mull said the fire appeared to be electrical and started in a storage area of the factory.

The 100 or so workers stood on that side of the plant while Crothersville-Vernon Township firefighters, assisted by others with nearby departments, worked to put out the fire.

Those workers, who were briefly allowed back into the plant to get their lunches, were released later in the afternoon, Mull said.

The fire was contained to an area around some electrical equipment along the roofline on the outside of the building, according to Crothersville-Vernon Capt. Derrick Minton.

Minton, the fire officer in charge of the incident, said the first concern firefighters had when they arrived was making sure the power was shut off. A Duke Energy employee arrived and turned off power, which allowed firefighters to begin spraying water to put out the fire.

Crothersville-Vernon also requested mutual aid from Jackson-Washington Volunteer Fire Department as well as Austin, which sent a ladder truck.

Minton said the other departments were called to provide additional manpower and tankers, and the ladder truck was requested because of the size of the plant.

Mull said the plant, which opened in November 2000, employs about 100 workers on each of two shifts. The plant once housed a factory.

Electronic connectors made at the plant pass signals between electronic devices for a variety of users, including the automotive industry, hospitals and the military.

Versatech is a subsidiary of Samtec in New Albany.

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