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Black smoke billowed from the Hydrodec North America oil-reprocessing plant in the Stein Industrial Park after a fire and suspected explosion Sunday.
There were no injuries or neighborhood evacuations, said Battalion Chief Carl Jordan of the Canton Fire Department. The fire shut down operations and caused an estimated $12.5 million in damage to the building and contents at 2021 Steinway Blvd.
Jordan said two employees were working in the transformer oil-refining plant when they reportedly heard an explosion about 4 p.m.
"They hit all their emergency shutdowns and exited the building," he said.
Multiple people notified the fire department shortly after, including an off-duty police officer in the area, and Jordan said firefighters arrived about 4:10 p.m.
The Stark County Hazardous Materials and Emergency Response Team responded to monitor product runoff and air quality because the one-story industrial building houses oil, ammonia and liquid hydrogen.
Hydrodec refines used transformer oil into new SUPERfine transformer oil, according to www.hydrodec.com. The oil is used as an insulator and coolant in electrical power transformers.
Alan Griffith, an employee at the neighboring Pull-A-Part, said store employees notified the Canton Fire Department and got everyone out of the used auto-parts yard opposite the Hydrodec building after hearing what Griffith said sounded like an explosion.
"We heard the boom and came out and seen the smoke rolling," he said.
A foam engine from Marathon Petroleum and the Canton Township Fire Department also responded to the fire. Jordan said crews were on scene until 8:44 p.m., and the cause of the fire still was under investigation Sunday night.
The Canton plant opened south of U.S. Route 30 in the fall of 2008 with 30 employees and the capacity to recycle 8 million gallons of oil per year.
Read more: http://www.cantonrep.com/article/20131201/NEWS/131209989/10511/SPECIAL#ixzz2mL1z3fUD