A second fire at MetalX in Delta in six months required assistance from multiple departments, but this time is was extinguished more quickly.
A fire was detected in a pile of scrap metal near the shredder at the company’s Delta processing facility at approximately 1:30 p.m. on March 9, according to a MetalX release. The Delta Community Fire Department was then dispatched.
“Standard protocol for an incident at this location is to dispatch resources from the fire departments in Wauseon, Swanton, Lyons, and Napoleon on the first alarm,” said Delta Community Fire Department Chief Scott Smith on Facebook. Additional assistance was requested from the Toledo, Monclova Township, Liberty Center, and Napoleon fire departments.
“First-arriving Delta fire units reported a fire in a pile of scrap that was growing in size and being fed by a strong wind out of the southwest,” said Smith. “Employees at MetalX were working diligently to cut fire breaks in the piles and contain the fire.”
Application of water and an extinguishing agent was begun within eight minutes of the first alarms sounding, according to the chief. “As additional units arrived, elevated streams were set up in strategic positions to contain and control the fire. The fire was successfully contained to one area and was under control at approximately 7 p.m. the same evening.”
The source of the fire is believed to have been combustible material embedded in a load of obsolete scrap received Monday morning, according to a MetalX release.
“The fire started in a small pile of sheet iron, which is a grade of obsolete scrap consisting of old metal siding, auto parts, whole autos, appliances, and similar types of scrap,” Clyde Billips, VP of Operations, said. “Fire breaks within the feed stock receiving area prevented the fire from spreading to other scrap metal piles, so the fire itself was well-contained, but the visible smoke was a result of the non-metallic items in that grade of scrap. Our facility does not accept any hazardous material, so there are no concerns about impact to human or animal health.”
MetalX crews have had extensive training in this type of fire response and emergency management practices, which allows them to work in conjunction with firefighting crews.
“Although any fire is one too many, we are pleased that the situation never got out of hand and was extinguished quickly without injury or incident,” said Billips. “Following last year’s larger event, area firefighters and company personnel have worked together to develop and implement an exemplary response protocol that was clearly effective yesterday, and we greatly appreciate their efforts.”
While the official cause is still under investigation, it was reported by the fire department that there were no injuries to any firefighters or civilians. There was also no damage to property or equipment.
The Ohio EPA was on site for the duration of the incident, and initial air and water monitoring found no out of the ordinary hazards.
MetalX also reported that the facility has resumed full and normal operation Tuesday morning.