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Published: Sunday, 10/28/2012

Blaze strikes refinery for 2nd time in 2012

BLADE STAFF

BELLEVUE, Ohio — For the second time this year, a trailer at a magnesium refining and recycling facility in Sandusky County caught fire Friday evening, resulting in firefighters spending 12 hours on the scene.

Bellevue firefighters needed about two hours to contain the fire at MagReTech, on County Road 177 near U.S. 20, that was reported about 9:50 p.m., fire Lt. Tony Schaffer said.

Crews remained at the scene for an additional 10 hours, and the fire continued to smolder well into Saturday afternoon, he said.

A truck driver injured his leg while jumping from his vehicle after moving a second trailer away from the burning one, but declined hospital treatment.

Authorities evacuated about a half-dozen people near the scene, but most in the surrounding rural area were advised to stay indoors with windows closed, Lieutenant Schaffer said.

Magnesium, which burns at about 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, chemically reacts with water, so firefighters used moisture-free “flux” and dry sand to douse the fire.

“The lack of immediate availabilty of dry sand is why we were on the scene as long as we were,” Lt. Schaffer said.

Losses were estimated at $12,000 for the trailer and its contents and $8,000 in damage to the building.

The fire’s cause remained under investigation Saturday, the lieutenant said.

A fire there in March was blamed on lightning, and the state fire marshal’s office is expected to join the current inquiry on Monday, he said.



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