7 Departments Battle Stubborn Blaze Northwest Of Uniontown

Firefighters from seven fire departments battled a fire in northern Vernon Township for multiple days last week.
No one was injured in the fire that began as a large structure fire last Tuesday night (Nov. 14) on the 19-acre site owned by Charlotte W. Helt, who once operated the recycling center with her late husband, Roger W. Helt at 10770 E. County Road 125S.
The fire was first reported at the former Helt Enterprises-Recycling site north of Uniontown just before 11 p.m. Tuesday. Firefighters from several departments worked to extinguished the blaze, but it rekindled about two hours later and was still burning Thursday.
Crothersville-Vernon Township Fire Chief Ben Spencer said the cause of the fire remains under investigation. He said the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office was called in to assist with the cause of the fire.
The fire was difficult to extinguish because of the materials involved, which included plastic, tires, pallets and other materials, he said.
The water firefighters sprayed on the burning plastic cooled it, which was essentially creating a shield for the flames burning underneath. That’s the type of fire that fire officials consider “deep-seated fires,” Spencer said.
Spencer said the fumes from the plastic burning was the primary concern of fire officials, and representatives from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and Jackson County Health Department who were on scene.
The rural site is at the edge of a wooded area, but firefighters were able to stop the fire from spreading to that area. Rainy conditions in the morning and afternoon also helped keep the fire contained.
This is not the first fire on the property. A fire was reported in April 2000 when the site still operated. That fire involved similar materials.
The Seymour Fire Department and Grassy Fork, Jackson-Washington, Brownstown, Redding and Hamilton Township fire departments assisted with the fire.