Chem Fire Contained at OH Facility

Monday, December 17, 2018 @ 01:12 PM gHale

Thick, pungent smoke billowed from a laboratory in the Mentor STERIS facility in Mentor, OH, Wednesday.

The smoke came from a fire in a lab storing chemicals. The chemicals, however, were not a public health hazard, officials said. No one was hurt in the fire.

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An alarm went off at the STERIS facility at noon Wednesday. Fire crews rushed to the Heisley Road-based company.

Firefighters initially thought it had been a false alarm, but then found acrid smoke coming from an unoccupied lab known to contain chemicals. All employees were evacuated safely and fire crews from neighboring cities were called to the scene.

Investigators initially could not determine if the chemicals were dangerous or if there was an abundance of chemicals in the lab. Eventually, firefighters were able to determine there was not a public health hazard, the city of Mentor said in a statement. The fire was contained.

Fire crews remained on scene at STERIS throughout the afternoon, ventilating the building and helping employees collect their personal belongings.

Investigators have not yet explored the extent of the damage or the cause of the fire. Right now, the damage to STERIS is believed to be relatively minor, the city said.

STERIS’ second shift employees were told not to report Wednesday night, but the facility was going to open up Thursday morning as scheduled.

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