GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Kindel Furniture's former furniture factory went up in flames Monday, destroying a plant that the erstwhile manufacturer called home for nearly 100 years.

That's the bad news.

The good news is that no one was hurt and according to Kindel President John VanZee is that the factory at 100 Garden Street SE has been unoccupied for several months since the company moved its production equipment and employees to a new location.

WOOD reported that fire officials believe the fire started near ceiling level, preventing the sprinkler system, which was converted to a "dry system" after Kindel moved, from dousing it.

Kindel Furniture issued a press release to reassure and remind customers that it had moved its operations to a new facility.

Last August, Kindel announced it was merging with The Taylor Co. and would move into Taylor's more modern and better-equipped manufacturing facility.

According to the press release, Grand Rapids fire officials said the fire that may have started about noon Monday, May 9, when contractors were dismantling old equipment on the building's third floor.

"The loss of the historic building constructed in 1912 will be mourned by many in the Grand Rapids community," VanZee said. "Kindel also is deeply saddened to lose of such a rich part of its history, but the loss won't prevent us from continuing our heritage in the production of 100 percent domestically made high-end furniture."

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