A fire started during the manufacturing process swept through a carpet padding plant in Norfolk, Neb., and left the 50,000 square foot facility in ruins. None of the 25 people working at Midwest Padding were injured but the fire reportedly caused about $5 million in damage.

"The good news is no one was hurt but the factory is a complete loss," said the company's director of sales, Jack Boesch. "We use a high heat process in our manufacturing. Occasionally a spark will flare up but our fire suppression system usually catches it. I guess this time it didn't."

Firefighters from Norfolk and three other nearby towns responded to the blaze at 2500 Old Hadar Road and reported seeing flames shoot 30 feet into the air. Because of the nature of the material burning, authorities allowed the fire to burn itself out.

Boesch noted that office space adjoining the plant was largely spared by the blaze but still had smoke and water damage. A company warehouse in a separate area was undamaged by the fire. Using the inventory in the warehouse and producing product at Midwest's other manufacturing facilities, the company will not suffer a major interruption in business, Boesch said.