Sheldon Commercial Laundry Sustains Heavy Damage In Fire

Date posted - January 25, 2012

One of the buildings of a Sheldon laundry business was destroyed in a fire Monday night.

Sheldon Fire Company Chief Jerry Meyer reports they were called out about 6:10 PM to a structure fire at 512 9th Street in Sheldon.  Upon arrival it was observed that smoke and some fire was coming out of the Bubbles Bee Kleen commercial laundry building.

Meyer says fire crews initiated an attack through the front and back doors of the building, then with the aid of Sheldons ladder truck, holes were made in the roof to relive the smoke and heat.  Holes were also made in the top front gable end to attack the fire under the roof using Sheldons ladder truck, he says.    Firefighters were on scene about 5 hours and there were no injuries.  The Sheldon Fire Company was assisted by a crew of 13 firefighters from the Sanborn Fire Department for a total of 40 firefighters.   He says about 25,000 gallons water and 25 gallons of foam concentrate were used in the effort.

The Sheldon Fire Company with aid of the fire Marshall determined that the fire originated in the area of one of the large clothes dryers, and later on Tuesday, owner Jeri Postma says they were able to pinpoint it to an air intake.  Postma says they’re very good about cleaning lint from the ducts, and they were just replaced last year.  She says the fire marshal didn’t want to speculate, but she suspects a bird may have built a nest in the duct work.

The building housed part of the uniform division of Bee Kleen.  Postma says they separate their more soiled uniforms from the health care uniforms, and they prefer to have them even in two separate buildings.  This was the building where the more soiled uniforms were cleaned.  She says the uniforms that were lost in the fire were leased uniforms and no uniforms or clothing belonging to any customers was damaged.   She says for now, they’ll have to move that work to their main facility on Third Avenue.

Postma does not know yet if they’ll rebuild.  She says right now with property tax so high in Iowa, it might make it difficult.  They did have insurance which should cover most of the damages, but the future remains uncertain, says Postma.

Chief Meyer says the fire was called in by a passing Sheldon firefighter.

By Scott Van Aartsen News Director


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