Fire at Travel Leather tannery25 March 2012
Peabody, MA fire officials have reported a fire at a downtown tannery that was safely extinguished and without any injuries. The Fire Department responded to Travel Leather Company in Wallis St at 12pm on March 22. The three-floor factory building spreads across 1.5 acres. Travel Leather processes leather on-site for various products, including leather jackets, garments, saddlebags and wallets.
Deputy Fire Chief Paul Hinchion said firefighters were greeted with ‘heavy smoke’ upon arriving at the scene, but there were no flames visible outside. ‘We didn't realise the roof was on fire at the same time,’ he said.
The initial fire inside the building was put out quickly, but firefighters found fire in the walls, which extended up toward the roof, and spent some time hosing down the roof and any hotspots in the walls.
Hinchion said the fire started in a collection box connected to a buffing machine, which is where dust collects from various pieces of equipment in operation at the facility. From there, the fire spread up a large exhaust pipe toward the roof.
Hinchion said factory employees already had a hose on the buffing box when firefighters arrived. The entire building was evacuated and there were about 30 workers inside.