Chem Fire at PA Water Plant

Friday, October 19, 2018 @ 03:10 PM gHale

A HazMat team got the call to a fire at the Penn American Water treatment plant in Mt. Oliver, PA, Monday afternoon.

Fast-acting employees deserve the credit for containing the small fire that broke out around 2:15 p.m. at the plant on Becks Run Road in Mount Oliver.

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Baldwin Borough and Mount Oliver Fire Departments responded to the call.

The fire started in an electrical outlet, said a senior supervisor for Pennsylvania American Water.

The outlet was in the containment room where chemicals are pumped from. Those chemicals are used in the water treatment process. One of the chemicals leaked from a pipe and into the electrical outlet, officials said.

“The chemical nature of the compound that we have is sodium permanganate. It can be a combustible material in its liquid form, but just one precautionary measure to make sure there are no other hazards,” said Kent Shrontz, a senior supervisor at Penn American Water.

Allegheny County’s HazMat team was called in to make sure the chemical was contained.

An employee spokesperson said because they had a fire extinguisher on hand, they were able to contain the fire quickly without any evacuations or any interruption to water service.

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