Josephson paint booth ignites

Messenger photo by Bill Shea Fort Dodge firefighters set up a ventilation fan in front of the Josephson Manufacturing Co. plant, 216 Central Ave., after a fire ignited in a paint booth there late Wednesday night.

A fire ignited inside a paint booth at the Josephson Manufacturing Co. plant in Fort Dodge late Wednesday night.

A sprinkler system kept the flames from spreading outside the booth. No one was injured.

Police and firefighters were called to the plant at 216 Central Ave. at about 11 p.m. because the fire alarm, burglar alarm and sprinkler system all activated.

Smoke was coming out of the building in several places when firefighters arrived, according to Fire Department Capt. Jeff Hill.

He said firefighters forced open the front door and pulled a hoseline inside.

Messenger photo by Bill Shea Smoke or steam swirls nearby as Fort Dodge firefighters put up a ladder on the east side of the Josephson Manufacturing Co. plant, 216 Central Ave., during a fire there late Wednesday night.

“The sprinkler system kept the fire contained in the paint booth until we could get a crew inside to extinguish what was burning,” Hill said. “It was pretty thick smoke. They had zero visibility going in there.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Emergency personnel were on scene until about 12:40 a.m. Thursday.

A call seeking comment from company managers was not returned Thursday.

Hill said it appears that the paint booth will be unusable for about week, but work could go on as usual in the rest of the building.

Josephson Manufacturing Co. makes radiators, air coolers and oil coolers for agricultural sprayers, forklifts, trenching machines, rock crushers, hay balers and other heavy equipment.

In 2015 and 2016, the company completed a $6.5 million expansion of the facility.