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.