Molten Aluminum Spills, Causes Dust Fire

Monday, May 11, 2015 @ 06:05 PM gHale

The fire at the Nemak plant in Glasgow, KY, ended up caused by aluminum injected into a mold spilled and ignited some dust in an exhaust fan, fire officials said. Employees tried to put out the fire, but it soon spread to the roof.

As a result of the Thursday fire, Glasgow firefighters had to return to the Nemak plant at 4 a.m. Friday today to address hot spots that flared back up.

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Nemak produces aluminum components for the automotive industry. Molten aluminum is extremely volatile – a drop of water on molten metal can create an explosion.

The Glasgow Fire Department sent all 15 city firefighters on duty Thursday afternoon to the fire and called in several others, GFD administrative assistant Polly Spillman said. Nemak employees who also serve as volunteer firefighters had turnout gear in their vehicles and helped fight the fire, along with some members of the Haywood Volunteer Fire Department.

The fire on the roof first ended up called in at 1:45 p.m. When firefighters arrived, workers had evacuated the plant, and a large fire was roaring with heavy, black smoke coming from the roof, according to a news release from GFD. Firefighters used the department’s 50-foot ladder truck to tackle the blaze. They also learned of another fire inside the plant.

Firefighters battled the blaze more than an hour and remained on the scene several more. Some plant employees stayed the night at the plant to watch for any other fires, Spillman said.

The extent of the damage is still undergoing assessment as the heat from the fire caused structural damage, the release said.

One firefighter ended up treated at the scene due to the heat, but other than that, no one else reported any injuries.

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