Industrial fire put out with no injuries, crews monitoring hazardous chemical

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MENTOR, Ohio -- Firefighters Friday fought a large industrial blaze that was fueled by oil, bringing it under control without injuries and without allowing a hazardous chemical to flow toward Lake Erie.

The fire sparked at Metal Seal Precision located at 7333 Corporate Boulevard shortly before 10:30 a.m. and quickly spread through the roof.

The first fire trucks from Mentor arrived in about four minutes and quickly called for help from neighboring departments.

Fast work by firefighters, coupled with fire walls in the building, helped contain the four-alarm blaze to about 30 percent of the large structure where about 260 people work.

At least a dozen local fire departments worked to contain the blaze.

Workers told FOX 8's Matt Wright a solvent tank somehow caught fire and quickly spread.

It wasn't clear what made the initial spark, but the fire has been ruled accidental.

The workers all made it safely out of the building when an alarm sounded.

The company manufactures metal and parts, some for rifles and others for the auto industry.

The work requires many oils and solvents which likely fueled the fire.

"There were a couple little explosions," says Kevin Edmond, a battalion commander for the Mentor Fire Department.

Edmond said those came from the tops of 55-gallon drums being blown off.

"Hydraulic oil is what burned," he said.

Authorities were monitoring a hazardous chemical that is used in the business.

Edmond said contamination in the water was stopped just off the property and way before it approached Lake Erie. He also said officials were monitoring levels of the toxin in the air, and found no reason to be concerned.

"I've worked for this company for 55 years.  It's sorry to see it go up in smoke.  I wish there was something more I could have done," said Bob Benedict, who tried to use a fire extinguisher to put out the initial flames, but they spread too quickly.

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