NEW CASTLE (KDKA) — Investigators are calling a fire at the Shenango China plant in New Castle suspicious.

The rubble continues to smolder one day after the intense blaze began. The smoke could be seen from as far away as Cranberry.

“We [were] hauling junk out of here, cleaning up brush,” William Robinson said.

He and his brothers were hired by the building’s new owner. They were the last to leave the plant around 3 p.m. Tuesday.

“Everything was fine when they left, so I don’t know what happened in the meantime,” Robinson said.

Most of the building appears to be a total loss.

“Right now, we’re waiting on an excavator to come in to start digging out some of the rubble,” New Castle Fire Chief Thomas Maciarello said.

Two nearby businesses – a refractory and a lumberyard escaped unscathed.

For decades, Shenango China produced dinnerware for hotels, restaurants and private homes, including White House fine china for five presidents.

In the 1940’s, the company employed 4,000 workers.

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