DOLGEVILLE – Fire crews are investigating the cause of a fire that ripped through the Rawlings Bat Factory building in Dolgeville early Tuesday morning.
The fire broke out just before 1 a.m. Tuesday, and 50-60 firefighters from at least eight local departments helped put the fire out.
The fire was reported at 12:55 a.m. by a Dolgeville police officer who saw the flames while he was on patrol. The chief says that officers on the midnight shift drive up to the factory's saw mill, get out of their cars and check all of the doors to make sure they’re locked. When the officer did this, he smelled and saw the fire.
The Dolgeville fire captain says they were on scene within five minutes.
The plant manager was there by 2 a.m. and remained on scene most of the morning. He says this shouldn’t affect the end-use customers. He says they have about a 50-60 day window before which customers would be affected, and that’s not enough time to rebuild – which they hope to do in the same site – but it will allow them time to figure out what to do in the interim.
Around 11:30 p.m. Monday, a plant employee was inside doing a routine, random check to make sure everything was okay, and they employee did not see, hear or smell anything out of the ordinary. Less than an hour and a half later, the building was in flames.
State fire investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire.