Quality Metal demolition sidetracked by 2nd fire

Published 11:16 am Thursday, April 15, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The long-awaited demolition of Quality Metal Products, a building seriously damaged by fire in 2001, was sidetracked on Wednesday when the building caught on fire again.
Niles City Fire Chief Larry Lamb said the fire began at about 4:45 p.m. when sparks from a grinder made contact with some old insulation material.
Lamb said it was a smoking fire that was self extinguishing for the most part because of the fact that fiberglass does not burn well. He attributed the fire to dust build-up that had accumulated within the insulation.
Selge Construction began demolition of the building, located at 903 Superior St., on Monday and was grinding off bolt heads when the accident occurred.
Lamb said Selge Construction was back at work on the demolition of the building when the fire department left the scene at about 6 p.m.
He said Niles City Fire Department, Niles Township Fire Department, Niles City Police and the Niles dispatch center all contributed to make the entire operation a safe and successful one.
The original fire occurred in June 2001 and Quality Metal Products has since sold the property to a firm near Indianapolis.
The demolition has been put off because of a dispute with the insurance company over the amount of the claim. In Michigan, when a loss of this type occurs, the insurance company is required to give a portion of the claim to the municipality. The act that requires this was adopted to guarantee that the remnants of burnt out buildings are not left for the taxpayers to remove.
In this case due to the lengthy dispute, the insurance provider never paid the hold back money.
According to a press release, the demolition was covered without any cost to Niles taxpayers due to a large amount of effort from Fire Marshal Bruce Leach and the State Office of Financial and Insurance Services.