Building fire in Mentor - KCTV5

Cleaning up after a large industrial fire at a Mentor business

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Industrial fire in Mentor on Tyler Blvd. (WOIO) Industrial fire in Mentor on Tyler Blvd. (WOIO)
Industrial fire in Mentor on Tyler Blvd. (Source: Amanda Krupitzer, viewer) Industrial fire in Mentor on Tyler Blvd. (Source: Amanda Krupitzer, viewer)
Oil runoff is a concern for the local environment. (WOIO) Oil runoff is a concern for the local environment. (WOIO)

Mentor Firefighters battled a large industrial fire at the Metal Seal Precision building on 7333 Corporate Drive. The fire started sometime around 10 a.m.

The massive fire had crews called in from as far as Richmond Heights. 

Metal Seals Precision is a machine shop that makes parts for cars and rifles. 

19 Action News Reporter Dan DeRoos spoke with employee Rich Smith about how the fire started.

"When I turned around something blew up and it went right to the ceiling, and then everything just caught on fire. And then we yelled everybody get out of the building. And you could hear the tanks exploding in there," said Smith. 

Smith said that they recently received 3,000 gallons of oil and the company has a lot of cleaning chemicals inside the building.

With all of the oil and cleaning supplies inside, the blaze burned for at least three hours. Roughly 30 percent of the building went up in flames almost immediately. 

One of the chemicals used here is so dangerous it is stored in it's own fireproof room that closed when the fire alarm went off. Luckily, the fire never came near that room. 

"We usually put out fires, little fires with fire extinguishers but this thing got out of hand. Whatever blew up it blew it right to the ceiling and everything caught on fire," Smith said. 

Employees recently ran through a fire drill which Smith said contributed to all workers evacuating safely and being accounted for. However, the reality is starting to set in. 

"We lost our jobs. We're all out of work. 200 and some odd people easy. So I'm hoping to collect unemployment I hope," said Smith. 

Now starts the clean up. Containing the oil is the biggest challenge. Some of the oil leaked into a pond and crews are working to mop it up. 

"Because we've had oil released from the property that went into a couple of storm sewers.  We did stop it from going into major ponds," said Mentor Battalion Chief Kevin Edmond. 

Clean up crews are on the scene and officials built dams to try to stop the leaking oil from spreading.

"Depending on the rain, as long as we build the dams, we should be OK," said Chief Edmond.

Fire officials tell us they will continue to monitor those dams designed to contain the oil. Crews will be here overnight watching that and continuing to clean up. 

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