Thursday, Aug 25, 2016
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Police & Fire

OmniSource fire yields lots of smoke, little loss at yard

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A fire at OmniSource reported just before noon on North Detroit Avenue was initially complicated by gusty winds, officials said.

THE BLADE/MIKE SIGOV
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A massive fire burned for hours Friday afternoon at a North Toledo scrapyard, spewing black smoke visible from miles away.

The fire closed for several hours the OmniSource Corp. branch at 5130 N. Detroit Ave., a large metals recycler.

Hundreds of employees were evacuated to areas of the sprawling scrapyard that were farthest from where the fire broke out, according to a member of the company’s emergency-response team.

Piles of scrap metal were coated with oil that heated up and spontaneously burst into flames, Toledo fire Battalion Chief David Hitt said. There were never health risks, such as toxic fumes, fire and company officials agreed.

The first 911 call was made at 11:39 a.m., and firefighters appeared to have the blaze under control within about three hours, although some fire crews remained at the scene later to extinguish flames.

OmniSource employees were back on the job by 3 p.m., the company official said, and no significant losses were reported.

Gusty winds complicated the initial firefighting efforts, fire officials said.

The fire wasn’t the first at the OmniSource complex, which comprises several facilities. In 2011, a fire that broke out while workers shredded automobiles at the scrapyard caused more than $150,000 in damage. No injuries were reported, but a firefighter was treated for heat-related problems.

In August, 2012, a mixture inside a machine at another OmniSource scrapyard in southwest Toledo overheated and caught fire. The 2453 Hill Ave. facility was evacuated and no employees were injured, but one firefighter was treated for a “minor burn,” officials reported at the time.

Contact Federico Martinez at: fmartinez@theblade.com or 419-724-6154.

Contact Mike Sigov at: sigov@theblade.com, 419-724-6089, or on Twitter @mikesigovblade.

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