A titanium fire kept firefighters busy for more than three hours today.
“We had to put a lot of salt on it,” by forklift and backhoe, said Capt. Todd Thomas of the Niles Fire Department, which helped Weathersfield firefighters battle the blaze at BRT Extrusions Inc., 1818 N. Main St.
Firefighters smothered the extremely hot fire using large bags of salt stockpiled by the company for such emergencies, he said.
Water wouldn’t have extinguished the blaze and would have reacted violently with the burning metal, potentially causing bright flashes and large explosions, Thomas explained.
Fire officials told workers to evacuate the plant because of the unknown chemical composition of the smoke, Thomas said. “We were worried about the toxic nature of the smoke,” he added.
Weathersfield Fire Chief Randy Pugh said nobody was allowed inside the building without breathing gear.
The blaze was reported at 9:35 a.m., and firefighters remained on the scene until 1:45 p.m., a Trumbull County 911 supervisor said.
The Trumbull County Hazmat Team and Youngstown Air Reserve Station firefighters went to the scene, and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was notified of the blaze. No injuries were reported.
Austintown sent a fire truck to a Weathersfield fire station as a backup during the blaze.
BRT makes and finishes aluminum products, according to the company web site.
Company officials could not be reached for comment Saturday.