Small blaze singes building
By staff report
September 30, 2003

WINTER BEACH — A small fire created a sizeable cloud of smoke but didn't injure anyone or cause any major damage Monday morning in an old Winter Beach industrial building undergoing renovations.

Indian River County firefighters quickly extinguished the fire in the building at 4415 77th St., just west of Old Dixie Highway. Building owner Alan Schommer, of Alan Schommer Properties, of Vero Beach, said workers had been cutting some metal while cleaning up the building when they accidentally sparked some old insulation, shortly after 11 a.m. Monday.

He said the insulation was garbage and was going to be disposed of anyway.

"There were no injuries, and no damage to the building," said Schommer.

But the insulation fire created a lot of smoke, county Fire Chief Ernie McCloud said while looking at the smoky sky above the building.

About six workers from Russell Payne Painting, of Vero Beach, stood nearby while firefighters put out the fire and checked the rest of the building. Schommer said the metal and concrete structure is about 28,000 square feet and has been abandoned for many years.

He said it was used by a manufacturing company, Hobart Bros. Co., for about 40 years, then was a citrus packinghouse, and is being renovated for warehouse use.