Dozens of workers evacuate Elkhart factory after it goes up in flames

ELKHART, Ind. -- It was a frightening sense of déjà vu for an Elkhart factory, which has a history of devastating fires.

Flames and heavy smoke filled the covered loading dock of KIK Custom Products plant after a semi truck caught fire. Five engines were called to Middlebury Street just before 7 p.m. when aerosol cans inside the trailer ignited a fire and caused several mini explosions.

The entire factory was evacuated and workers were send home for the day. Firefighters said no one was injured in the fire, but said that one employee was sent to the hospital to be checked out. 

 Many residents in the area say it is scary living close to the factory because it houses and distributes several highly flammable products. The KIK plant has seen two devastating fires erupt that destroyed parts of its structure and seriously injured several workers.

"Years ago when their building was down in the industrial park, it blew. The fire sent the roof 30 feet in the air," said nearby neighbor Bruce Hoff. 

Both blazes happened several years ago and firefighters say it was after the second fire, in the 1990's, that better safety measures were put in place.color:black"> 

Crews have been brought in to clean up the factory, which firefighters says has a lot of smoke and water damage. 

We're also told harmful fumes have filled the air, making it very smelly. Right now, employees are still unsure as to when they will be allowed to return to work.

Even truckers arriving at the plant to drop off shipments have been told to wait while cleaning crews and investigators survey the damage.

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