UPDATED: 11:00 a.m. Saturday: A late-night fire Thursday at CertainTeed on U.S. 250 caused no injuries, but it kept Milan Township firefighters busy for nearly three hours.
Evacuated employees watched smoke billow from the building as fire alarms echoed over the grounds at about 9:30 p.m.
Firefighters had the blaze under control within half an hour, but they didn’t clear the scene until well after midnight, Milan Township fire Chief Brian Rospert said.
Friday morning, Rospert and his crew were finally able to determine the cause: hot tar ignited a buildup of fiberglass-like material inside a machine.
The machine was enclosed and a worker was able to put out the initial fire, but a secondary blaze broke out in the machine’s ventilation ductwork, Rospert said. Crews worked feverishly to tame the fire once they arrived at the scene.
The blaze could have been prevented, as a buildup of materials was the root cause, Rospert said. “I know they strive to keep the place clean,” Rospert said. “The buildup is part of the manufacturing process. It’s a basic housecleaning detail, though. They needed to do a better job.”
“There were not many damages,” said Ed Miller, human resources manager at the Milan plant. “The machine was damaged, and we’re replacing ductwork as we speak. We’ll be up and running on Monday. It has not affected our business.”
Huron Township firefighters also assisted at the scene.
UPDATED 12:30 a.m.: Milan Township firefighters confirmed no one was injured and the fire is out.
Firefighters said flames were visible on the roof when they arrived, and it took them about 25 minutes to knock down the blaze. Most of the fire was inside duct work, which made it difficult for emergency crews to actually get to the area. The cause is still unknown and firefighters said the incident remains under investigation.
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Crews from Milan and Huron townships are battling a fire at the CertainTeed facility on U.S. 250, just south of the Ohio Turnpike.
The fire started Thursday evening. Employees said they felt the floor rumble, followed by a "big fireball" shooting up in the center of the building.
Deputies at the scene said there are no reports of injuries and all employees have been evacuated.
Heavy smoke was seen outside the building, but no flames. Firefighters used a ladder truck to access the top of the building.
The facility manufactures roofing shingles.