WEATHERSFIELD TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – Multiple crews were called out to help with an unusual fire scene in Weathersfield Township on Thursday.
Firefighters were called to the scene of a titanium and magnesium fire. Fire officials said it was one of the worst fires to fight because they couldn’t use any water on the fire.
“The magnesium titanium’s the worst because you can’t get any water on it and when you’re working against the elements this time of year, makes it even a little tougher,” said Weathersfield Township Fire Chief Tom Lambert.
The call came in at 11:47 a.m. A neighboring business owner saw the flames coming from International Technical Polymer Systems (ITPS) on Main Street and instantly called the police.
Shawn Hamrick, owner of Hamrick’s Diesel Repair: “The flames were like over top of the yellow building.”
Reporter Taylor Long: “Just kind of shooting out over top?”
Long: “It definitely raised your concerns.”
Long: “And you got the fire department here as soon as possible?”
Hamrick: “Yeah. They were like running back there with fire extinguishers and stuff.”
Officials said ITPS is a manufacturing company that recycles magnesium and titanium. Fire crews said workers were cutting metals outside the building toward the back when the fire got away from them.
At least 10 bags of salt were used, which is around 3,500 pounds. The company keeps them on hand in case of a fire. Chief Lambert said the firefighters had to shovel it on the fire by hand.
“Stacked the salt higher so when it melts, what happens is salt melts and it crystalizes over the top of it, forms a layer and that keeps the fire from burning. Takes out the oxygen and eventually smothers it out,” Chief Lambert said.
Chief Lambert added that there were no environmental health risks to the community because the wind was on their side and everyone was far enough away.
There were no injuries and the fire was ruled accidental.
Fire crews will be on the scene throughout the night to make sure it doesn’t reignite.