We will update this story as soon we learn more.
ELKHART, Indiana, March 12, 2019 — More than 40 firefighters are battling a blaze at Forest River Plant 59, located in the 400 block of County Road 15.
The plant, which makes Vibe trailers, was at the end of shift and was nearly empty, according to Elkhart Fire Chief Chad Carey, and only 5 or 6 employees were in the plant at the time of the blaze; all managed to escape. Usually about 60 employees work there, but work for the day was winding down.
Carey said firefighters were called to the fire about 3:45 p.m. and first responders reported flames coming through the roof of the structure.
He said employees reported hearing several small popping noises and went to investigate in the front of the plant building and discovered the fire. He added that all got out safely.
Dylan Phillips was driving on Toledo Road more than a half mile from the plant when he said he saw a large amount of black smoke coming from the plant area.
“It looked like a bomb went off,” Phillips told the South Bend Tribune. He turned around and stopped to see what the smoke was about, he said.
He said he did not know what caused the fire. The Forest River plant manager had been on the scene, he said, and the investigation would begin once the fire is out.
SOURCES: South Bend Tribune, WSBT-22 and the Goshen News