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ALBION – Demolition crew were brought to downtown Albion late Thursday to take down the three-story factory at West Avenue and Hamilton Street that had housed the Orleans Pallet Co. until fire broke out there just before 4 p.m. and heavily damaged the structure.

Fire crews from nine companies from four counties were sent to deal with the potentially-hazardous fire, and fire crews were expected to remain at the scene most of the night and much of the morning today.

Because of concerns the fire might spread to the adjacent Empire Coating company which houses toxic chemicals including methyl chloride, home owners in the area were urged early Thursday evening to remain in their homes with all windows closed.

Though the fire destroyed the pallet factory it did not spread before it was brought under control.

No injuries to factory workers were reported. Officials said sparks from the use of a grinder device on a second-floor pipe started the fire which for a long time filled the sky over parts of Albion with heavy smoke.