Blast Destroys Ohio Warehouse

No injuries after explosion at the Griswold Manufacturing processing plant; all 117 employees off for Labor Day.

RAVENNA, Ohio (AP) — An explosion leveled a storage warehouse at a northeast Ohio industrial plant closed on Labor Day and shook the ground more than a mile away, officials said. No injuries were reported.
''We heard a huge boom like a percussion, then complete silence,'' said city councilman Joe Bica, who lives more than a mile away. ''Then you could hear every fire and police siren in town.''
Fire officials did not know what caused the explosion at the Griswold Manufacturing Inc. processing plant shortly before 7 a.m., fire department spokesman Bob Walker said.
The processing plant, which punches holes in metal products, has 117 employees — all off on Monday because of the holiday, Walker said. The warehouse's steel structure is all that's left standing, he said.
Griswold president Terry Gaab said a firefighter told him the area smelled of natural gas when fire trucks arrived shortly after the explosion. The company's only use of natural gas is to heat the building, he said.
''It is a godsend that this was a holiday,'' Bica said. ''Normally there would be lots of workers at the produce company next door and kids across the street at the technical school center.''
Ravenna is about 40 miles southeast of Cleveland.
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