On Friday, October 2 at 10:57 a.m., Haines City Fire Department, along with Polk County Fire Rescue and Davenport Fire Department, were dispatched for a fire at Sofidel Group, the paper mill located at 1006 Marley Road in Haines City, Ohio.
Upon arrival, crews were met with an extremely large commercial structure with smoke emanating from multiple locations. Command was established and evacuation of the building was immediately called for, along with a primary search for any victims.
A second alarm requested, and units were dispatched from Polk County Fire Rescue, Dundee Fire Department and Winter Haven Fire Department.
Search crews confirmed all occupants were out of the building and began reconnaissance of the structure. There were multiple small fires throughout the building, which were quickly contained, however, smoke was still dissipating from many areas in the building.
Polk County Fire Rescue assisted with Drone One, which was able to provide a quick, reliable aerial view of the building, along with infrared and thermal monitoring. It was determined that there was insulation burning in hidden voids throughout the structure, particularly the roof of the third floor.
Firefighters made access to the roof area and worked several hours to isolate and extinguish the fire with minimal damage to the building.
No one was injured, and success was due to the cooperation and training of the 40 firefighters and Command Staff who operated at this extended operation.