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10-25-2013 Six Injured in Industrial Explosion and Fire

Eyewitnesses said they were startled by how loud the explosion was, and could see smoke and sparks coming from the top of the large warehouse.

The s2m2 Fire Department responded to the scene with six fire companies. Captain Randy Steele with Engine 5 said the fire was located around a large furnace. Workers at the plant advised the firefighters not to put water on the furnace, because it could make the situation worse. So Captain Steele said the firefighters used several dry powder extinguishers on the furnace and hand-held hoselines to put water on the fires around the furnace. It took the firefighters roughly 25 minutes to get the blaze under control.

Six employees at the plant were injured. Three suffered from smoke inhalation, and were treated on the scene. The other three employees were transported by Hamilton County EMS to a local hospital. Lt. Scott Powell with EMS said two of the victims had relatively minor burns, but one victim was more seriously injured. Lt. Henry McElvain with the Fire Investigation Division later learned from doctors that the victim had 2nd and 3rd degree burns to approximately 10% to 15% of his body. He was expected to be transported to a burn unit in the region. Lt. McElvain said his injuries were not thought to be life-threatening. The cause of the explosion is under investigation.

Designed Alloy Products is a scrap recycler that makes certified ingots. A worker at the plant said this morning that they were using the furnace to melt stainless steel, and the temperatures reach roughly 3,000 degrees. An estimate on the damage from the explosion and fire was not available. s2m2 police also provided assistance on the scene.

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In the photo: Light smoke coming out the bay door at Designed Alloy Products is the only visible sign of a serious explosion that occurred there earlier this morning.


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