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Workers flee Fifth Street factory

Emil Whitis • Apr 18, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Workers bolted from a smoking Fifth Street factory Wednesday after an industrial oven fire spiraled of control. The six American Quality Stripping employees inside escaped without injuries. Sandusky fire Capt. Brian Cowie said the fire was contained to the oven.

Firefighters were called to the scene at about 7 p.m., arriving to find smoke rolling from the building.

“It was going pretty good when we got here,” said Cowie, who had immediately requested mutual aid from Perkins and Huron firefighters. He called them off after Sandusky’s crews quickly got the blaze under control.  When the smoke cleared, there was no structural damage.

“They’re still not sure what happened,” Cowie said. In normal operations, the plant’s workers place painted metal parts into an oven, which strips the paint without burning.

Sandusky firefighters also handled to two other fire calls Wednesday.

At about 5 p.m., shortly before the Fifth Street fire, they were called to a home in the 700 block of Walnut Ridge Lane — in the Cold Creek development off Venice Road — where a homeowner's propane grill caught fire. Crews quickly snuffed the fire and no one was injured.  

At about 9:50 p.m., they were dispatched to the coal docks on the shoreline. A conveyor belt moving coal was overloaded, causing the belt to spin and catch fire. No one was injured and crews also extinguished that blaze quickly.

All told, it was a rather busy Wednesday for Sandusky firefighters. They also handled 15 medical calls throughout the afternoon and evening. 

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