HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) A fire at an abandoned factory in Huntington that prompted a call for nearby residents to voluntarily evacuate last week was deliberately set according to the City of Huntington Fire Department.
The fire at the former H.K. Porter building located at 1849 Sabine Street started sometime during Thursday, April 28. It took firefighters until Friday morning to get the fire under control.
Tuesday morning, the fire department notified the media that the fire had been intentionally set. No other information was provided.
The building housed several businesses over the years after first opening in 1919. The factory operated at different times as the Rapid Rim Company, Asbestos Manufacturing Company, Thermoid Rubber Company, H.K. Porter and, as of its closure in 1999, Friction Materials Company. According to the the City of Huntington website, the city gained ownership of the building in 2014 and has been working to clean it up. Several environmental tests conducted by the city before and after they got ownership of the 12-acre property confirmed the presence of hazardous materials.
Part of the cleanup efforts include removing a 40,000 gallon underground storage and two auxiliary tanks, which crews were set to do May 9.