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Dutch Maid shipping 'back to full go' after $1 million fire

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 28, 2015 at 3:53 PM

WILLARD - Dutch Maid Logistics Inc. doesn't expect the accidental $1 million fire Sunday morning to affect shipping.

Operations manager Sam Burrer said there were a few delays Monday and Tuesday at the for-hire refrigerated trucking company, but added: "We're back to full go."

Dutch Maid is expected to have 12 new trailers on the road by the end of the week. Burrer called the situation "pure luck" because the company had ordered them in January and the trailers arrived last week.

He expects to order more trailers to replace those that were damaged or totaled.

The electrical fire started in an unoccupied tractor-trailer containing aerosol cans in the parking lot about 40 feet away from the Dutch Maid building. There were no injuries and the building had no damage, except for a broken window.

However, the wind caused the fire to spread to and destroy 10 trailers and two tractors, which were parked side by side.

Burrer said there are nine other trailers that sustained minor to severe damage. He believes there are a couple more that might have to be totaled.

Dutch Maid, which has been in existence for more than 30 years, has a fleet of 100 trucks. Each of those vehicles travel between 2,300 and 2,400 miles per week.

About 20 personal vehicles also were damaged. Burrer said it varied from "very minor damage" to some of the vehicles needing to be repainted.

An investigator with the state fire marshal's office was at Dutch Maid on Wednesday and was expected to do more work there today, spokesman Shane Cartmill said. Investigators have not determined the exact cause.

"We'll let you know as soon as we know something," Cartmill said.

On Monday, Fire Chief Richard Myers said he didn't believe the fire was suspicious, attributing it to a possible electric short.

Burrer stressed that determining the cause of vehicle fires is difficult to do.

"They basically know it's electrical, but they're trying to pinpoint it," he said. "We know it was in the engine compartment, but we don't know where."

Firefighters from Attica, Greenwich, Monroeville, North Fairfield, Plymouth, Shiloh and Tiro assisted Willard personnel in fighting the blaze that started about 9:45 a.m. Sunday.

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