A fire that burned through thousands of pounds of rubber Sunday evening destroyed the Westover Bandag building on Sheridan Street in Chicopee, Mass.
There were no employees in the building when the fire was reported at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday. No one was injured in the blaze, according to firefighters, who are still investigating the cause of the blaze.
The building, which has been located there for 15 years, held thousands of pounds of rubber, but the company uses no solvents or other materials in the retreading process. According to local reports, it took firefighters nearly five hours to bring the fire, which spewed clouds of black smoke into the air that could be seen for miles, under control. The building later collapsed.
Westover Bandag is one of eight subsidiaries of Holyoke Auto and Tire Service Inc. of West Springfield, Mass.
Owner Peter Kearing said employees will work at the company’s other locations, and he has already contacted the parent Bandag company, which is sending equipment so the operation can re-open. For now, that equipment will be set up in the West Springfield shop. Kearing said he was unsure if he would rebuild in Chicopee, where between 88 and 110 tires were retreaded daily.