Thursday, April 18, 2002

Factory burns; lightning blamed

Plant made fiberglass containers

By David Eck
Enquirer contributor

        MORGAN TOWNSHIP — Firefighters and Ohio EPA officials worked into the night Wednesday after an afternoon fire, apparently sparked by lightning, destroyed much of a fiberglass container plant on Cincinnati-Brookville Road.

        Two firefighters were treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

[photo] Framed by an entry with an overhead door, firefighters are confronted by heavy smoke Wednesday in Morgan Township.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
        Small amounts of an acetone-type chemical were released from 55-gallon drums in the burning building. Officials were also trying to identify small amounts of other chemicals on site, said Morgan Township Assistant Fire Chief Rob Brehm.

        Firefighters used absorbent material and dams to contain water runoff from the fire.

        The blaze heavily damaged Marine Technologies. .Other businesses in the building sustained minimal damage.

        The two firefighters were taken to Fort Hamilton Hospital after they were hit by debris while pulling down a ceiling in the building. A Ross Township firefighter was hit in the head, and a Morgan Township firefighter was hit in the shoulder.

        “It doesn't appear to be anything serious,” Assistant Chief Brehm said.

        The names of the injured firefighters were not immediately released.

        Everyone in the building escaped safely. No dollar loss has been set.

        Fire crews were called to building about 3:40 p.m. and found heavy smoke coming from the eaves in the rear of the long, low structure.

        Because of heavy smoke and fire inside the structure, firefighters fought the blaze from outside.

        More than 50 firefighters from nearly a dozen Butler and Hamilton county departments responded, mostly to help maintain the water supply. There are few hydrants in the area, so crews used tankers to truck waterfrom Morgan Elementary School and from a nearby water tower.

        Fire officials said a fire wall kept the blaze from spreading.

        “I could just see this plume of black smoke come up,” said Clint Kerby, who works at a store nearby.


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