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By Ryan Smith


UNION CITY, Erie County — Crews from more than 20 fire departments around the region spent hours Thursday battling a blaze that heavily damaged a former Union City factory that’s been used as a small business incubator in recent years.

Union City Volunteer Fire Department spokesperson Tom Cullen said that department was called to the fire at the former Ethan Allen Inc. Cherry Hill Division plant on South Main Street around 11:40 a.m. Thursday. Heavy smoke and flames were visible from outside the large, three-story commercial structure, and crews from Crawford, Erie and Warren counties, as well as one department from New York, were promptly called in to assist.

Initial reports indicated one person was trapped inside the building when the fire broke out, said Cullen, but that person was able to safely exit the structure within minutes. Cullen also said three firefighters received medical treatment Thursday, but no further information on their apparent injuries or conditions was immediately available.

Fire crews were still at the scene as of about 6:30 p.m. Thursday, and Cullen said they were expecting “a rather lengthy ordeal.”

Local emergency dispatchers said Crawford County-based fire departments including Bloomfield Township, Titusville and Spartansburg assisted at the scene.

Cullen said the department didn’t have information on the owner of the building, which has reportedly been used to house several small businesses and for some storage purposes since the Cherry Hill Division closed in 2003.

A Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal and Union City police are assisting Union City VFD in investigating the cause of the fire, which has yet to be determined, said Cullen.

Cullen said the Erie County chapter of American Red Cross and Erie County Emergency Management Agency are assisting some local families whose nearby homes sustained heavy smoke damage Thursday. Further information on the number of families or residences affected wasn’t available Thursday.

Ryan Smith can be reached at 724-6370 or by e-mail at



Breaking news posted 12/2 at 1 p.m.

UNION CITY, Erie County — Crews from several area fire departments are reportedly battling a fire at Ethan Allen Inc.’s Cherry Hill Division plant in Union City.

Few details were immediately available, but Erie County emergency dispatchers said the fire was first reported at 11:39 a.m. At about 12:45, a witness at the scene reported heavy flames were visible from outside the South Main Street structure.

Crawford County emergency dispatchers said volunteer fire departments from Bloomfield Township, Titusville and Spartansburg have been called to assist Erie County-based crews at the scene.


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