A small fire at a Manchester Township casket company Friday morning destroyed a piece of machinery, but nothing else, a fire official said.

Firefighters were called to Matthews International Wood Casket Division at 2880 Blackbridge Road shortly before noon. It's the former York Casket Co., according to Joe Madzelan, battalion chief for York Area United Fire and Rescue.

They found fire in a molding machine inside the facility's production area and extinguished it in just a few minutes, he said. The machine carves designs into wood, he said.

"It took them longer to get to the fire than it did to put it out," Madzelan said. "The sprinkler system in the building didn't even activate."

Fire was contained to the machine, which was destroyed, he said.

"It appears it was (caused by) either heat from operation of the machine, or possibly a spark that ignited a buildup of sawdust in the dust-collection area," Madzelan said. "All it takes is one spark."

Because all the company's machines are hooked up to a central dust-collection system, firefighters dismantled the system's duct work to make sure fire hadn't extended there, he said, adding it had not.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at

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