OH Magnesium Fire Rages for Hours

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 @ 04:06 PM gHale

A magnesium fire at Lite Metals Company in Ravenna, OH, proved difficult to extinguish for firefighters as they found they could not use water to put out the blaze.

Ravenna Fire responded to a call for a structure fire at 700 North Walnut Street Saturday at 8:32 a.m. When the crew arrived at Lite Metals, it soon discovered that magnesium used for making parts had flared and caused the fire.

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Officials said extinguishing the magnesium fire took some rolling up of sleeves because they couldn’t use water, they had to use sand. Sand is the only thing they could use to smother the flames.

Although nine other departments assisted, the fire got out of control when sand not cured properly made things worse. Moisture in the sand caused the fire and smoke to increase.

Crews spent more than three hours shoveling sand onto the flames which had extended to the ceiling of the structure.

In the end, no one was in need of rescue and there were no injuries.

The current foundry produces magnesium and aluminum sand castings mostly for the helicopter industry with commercial applications in the racing sector and other markets. The foundry received its AS9100 certification in November 2007.