November 11, 2015 Events  No comments

Cumberland Times-News – Nov. 11

Fire gutted the former Artmor Plastics Corp. building on Wills Mountain just beyond Cumberland’s city limits Wednesday. Dense, black smoke from the vacant building billowed high into the sky over Cumberland, making it visible from most parts of the city.

More than 20 fire departments and first responders were at the scene following the 2:30 p.m. dispatch by the Allegany County 911 Call Center.

The fire was located in the LaVale district portion of Allegany County.

During the blaze, Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim walked to Piedmont Avenue – the North End city street at the foot of Wills Mountain.

“There doesn’t seem to be much in the line of fire hydrants,” he said. “I stood and watched 12 or 13 fire trucks trying to get up that road. The trucks were scraping the ground. They were having to get (water) tanker trucks up there.”

Located on private property, the Artmor Plastics building is accessible from a single steep, narrow one-lane road, making access difficult for firefighters.

Several state and local fire marshals were at the scene Wednesday night.

Blaze remains under investigation
According to the 911 center, responding fire units included LaVale, Ellerslie, Corriganville, Bowling Green, Bedford Road, Frostburg, District 16, Midland, Mount Savage, Flintstone, Baltimore Pike, Good Will – Lonaconing, Rawlings, Shaft, Barton and Eastern Garrett County. West Virginia companies included Ridgeley and Wiley Ford. The Wellersburg, PA., volunteer fire company also responded.

The Cumberland Police Department and Allegany County Sheriff’s Department were also at the scene.

The Artmor Plastic Corp. building has been a cause of concern in recent years due to numerous cases of vandalism at the site. “It alters the skyline of Cumberland,” Grim said. “While it is not in the city, it was in blighted condition, and now being a burned out shell, it will look even worse.”

Artmor Plastics was owned by the late Arthur Morgan. The 45,000-square-foot building was constructed in 1963 and started to manufacture products that year. It produced plastic parts until in closed in the 1990’s and a buyer for the building was never found.

*Pictures can be found at Frostburg Fire Department Facebook page

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