ELLWOOD CITY, Pa. - Several fire companies were called to an industrial fire Sunday morning in Lawrence County that sent thick smoke billowing into the sky.
The fire was reported shortly before 9 a.m. at the International Metals Reclamation Company, Inc., a recycling plant in Ellwood City.
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Fire officials said the fire was brought under control outside of the building as of about 10:40 a.m., but continued to burn inside for several more hours. It was later contained but rekindled around 8:30 p.m. Fire crews were able to put it out once again.
Smoke could be seen in the sky above the INMETCO plant from miles away Sunday morning.
Officials said the fire started in an area of the plant where there was lithium, liquid cadmium and lead acid. The building was destroyed.
A Lawrence County emergency medical services official said there is no public health hazard and evacuations are not needed. However, nearby residents are advised to stay indoors and keep their windows and doors closed until the smoke clears.
Four firefighters suffered chemical burns to their hands, according to the Ellwood City fire chief. Two of them were treated and returned to the fire scene, while the other two remain hospitalized but are not seriously injured.
According to INMETCO’s website, the company is “a leading recycler of metal-bearing wastes in North America” that recycles “thousands of tons of nickel, chromium, iron, molybdenum and cadmium bearing wastes annually.”