Fire damages cabinet company in Salem

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SALEM -- After 14 years in business, a Salem company went up in flames. The fire started around 6:00 Monday morning at the Rocky Mountain Woods near 140 East and 300 North.

An employee was working inside and was able to get out safely once he smelled the smoke. The building, however, quickly went up in flames.

"It's heart sickening; the way the economy is right now," Property Manager Bart Mortensen said.

The fire marshal is currently on scene investigating. At this point, the cause is still unknown, but Salem's police chief says it could be suspicious. "We'll let the fire marshal determine what the cause is and, obviously, we're going to treat it as suspicious until they tell us otherwise," said Salem Police Chief Brad James.

The fire was reported by an employee at the Rocky Mountain Woods He told police he was working on some cabinets Monday morning when he heard a suspicious noise in the back of the building.

When he went to investigate, he found heavy smoke. He then evacuated the building and called 911.

Mortensen described what he saw when he arrived on scene. "I was called at six o'clock, told me it was on fire," he said. "I came down. My son-in-law works out of here, in one of the buildings. When I got here, it was fully engulfed."

James said, "The fire department did an outstanding job in containing it to one building. Their response was good, just a matter of getting in to fight the fire was their biggest problem."

Fire crews did shut down State Road 198 in Salem, which is the main road in town, in order to get their crews in a position to fight the fire.

Once they did, 25 firefighters and eight engines were able to knock it down and keep it contained to one building.

"As you can see behind me, the building is a total loss," James said. "Estimates are still to be determined because there is a lot of equipment in there. We don't know the exact price right now."

Mortensen says the building is divided into two sections; one side is rented as storage facility by Neways and the other side has been rented by the Rocky Mountain Woods for about 14 years.

Mortensen says the damage caused to their side of the building is devastating, especially for the owners of that company, because he believes they don't have insurance on any of their equipment.



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