Five Workers Injured in Industrial Plant Fire

LORAIN, OH — A fire at a Lorain industrial plant injured a handful of people and caused millions of dollars in damage.

The fire started just before 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Republic Steel on E. 28th Street. The plant makes and sells Special Bar Quality (SBQ) Steel, according to its website.

Three agencies, including the Lorain Fire Department, responded to the 911 calls, which indicated brown and black smoke was coming from one of the buildings in the complex.

Firefighters tell Fox 8 they were pretty concerned for their safety, as well as the other workers inside of the plant.

“In this particular fire, there’s a lot of smoke and a lot of wires, insulation, you don’t know what’s burning. So, that’s the hazardous part of it,” said Lt. Mark Nunez, with the Lorain Fire Department. “Once we were on E. 28th Street, we got the sense that this was a little more unusual than we are used to.”

Several workers inside at the time of the fire were all evacuated and after a short time, were all accounted for. According to Capt. Tom Baker with Lorain fire, the five people injured had problems like smoke inhalation, broken bones and first degree burns.

“I wanted to report some black smoke coming out of a building at the steel mill,” said one 911 caller.

Capt. Baker tells Fox 8 the flames did a lot of damage to a building that houses a control center and a new electrical furnace. He also explains the flames destroyed three floors of the building and estimates millions of dollars in damage.

“Anytime you go to an industrial setting like that, it’s pretty dangerous,” said Lt. Nunez.

Fox 8 attempted to speak with plant leaders on Saturday, but did not hear back. Workers say they will be back on the job on Sunday.

6 comments

    • PhilLorain

      That is what I was thinking cause they were (according to local news) they were to fire it up.

      Now I wonder if the power line feeding it was too small, overheated and started the fire?

  • DJ

    Wonder if the power line is too small?!? Your brain might be too small Phil. Special power sources are implemented and installed for such tasks. Know what you’re talking about before you open your mouth and make yourself look stupid.

  • Chris.

    Been on site working on getting this place up and running They have rushed everything …. Not at all suprised when it went boom today just glad i wasnt working on that building at the time … They fired it up many times today before it blew was pretty wild to see

  • jhn

    Ya I was right there when it happened. It was a gas line. It was behind a firewall but it failed somehow. The fire was more like a huge torch ive never seen flames of that size or color. Somehow it melted an o2 line creating the enormous flames. And it burned alot of wiring. That’s where the electrical problem came from.

  • Cathy Hargis

    So Thankful no one lost their life and, all the injured will be ok ! Even though difficult times happen Republic Steel will remain strong … Many prayers, and Blessings are with You !!

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