Bucyrus firefighters, with mutual aid from Galion, Crestline and Marion Township Fire Departments battled a blaze at the former Ekleberry Poultry building on South Spring Street that began Sunday afternoon.
The smoke from the fire at 823 S. Spring St., could be seen as far away as Harpster in Wyandot County.
“I can see the smoke over here in Harpster,” said Will Fernatt, who moved to Harpster from Bucyrus a few years ago.
Joe Graham lives at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Spring Street, one block north of the building.
“We have been told to stay inside due to the possibility of toxic fumes. The wind seems to be carrying the smoke southwest towards the Huggins subdivision. I can see flames from my kitchen window, and it appears the entire structure towards the west side has been involved,” Graham said around 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
Graham said later that the entire west side of the building is destroyed.
“A man had just moved into the upstairs residential area of the building but I do not think there was anyone injured in the fire,” Graham said.
Tammy Evans Hansford said she watched two dogs being rescued from the building that may have housed Styrofoam and rubber products.
Firefighters were still on the scene late Sunday evening.
“We are being urged to stay put, in our houses, all night. The fire is still burning under the rubble,” Graham said about 8 p.m.
Graham said that he and his neighbors in the Spring Street area are grateful to the firefighters.
“They were on the scene very quickly today to fight this fire. They are doing a great job protecting all of us and we are safe because of them. We want them to know how much we appreciate them,” Graham said.
The building is located behind the home of John and Kim Chavatzas, who are also very grateful to the firefighters for keeping the fire contained so the neighboring houses are safe from damage.
Kim Chavatzas gave hot chocolate to the firefighters while Kaye Pifer provided them with bottled water earlier in their battle against the flames.
“We want them to know how much they are appreciated,” said Kim Chavatzas.
Firefighters worked into the night to put out the fire with the help of tower lights illuminating the area.
Gasuras can be reached on Twitter @kimberlygasuras