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Police and fire

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Fire destroys trucking business in Van Wert

A blaze destroyed a 12,000-square-foot building Saturday at a Van Wert industrial park, a fire official said.

The building at 1285 Industrial Drive housed the offices and maintenance bays of TL Express, a trucking company, along with the Vantage Career Center’s truck driving school, said Capt. Craig King of the Van Wert Fire Department.

Authorities learned of the fire after a worker at a neighboring factory reported seeing smoke coming from the building, which sits a distance from any homes, King said.

“By the time police units arrived, the fire was coming through the roof,” he said.

Firefighters were called at 12:21 p.m., and they arrived five minutes later. Because the fire had breached the roof and no one was believed to be inside, firefighters attacked the flames from outside using ladder trucks, he said.

King said the fire sparked some explosions of tires and possibly a propane tank. The flames were under control by 3:45 p.m., and firefighters were at the scene until just after 6 p.m.

The building was a total loss, he said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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