GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) - A magnesium recycling plant caught
fire and was engulfed in flames Monday, sending plumes of smoke
into the air and sparking more than a dozen thunderous explosions -
including two that shattered windows 2,000 feet away.
Two firefighters were taken to the hospital with rapid
heartbeats. Employees escaped safely.
The fire at Garfield Alloys, in an industrial park about 10
miles southeast of Cleveland, destroyed two of the company's three
buildings and a neighboring heating company, Fire Chief Tony
Magnesium reacts chemically with water, causing explosions; rain
hampered firefighting efforts.
Firefighters planned to let the fire burn itself out. No homes
were immediately threatened, but two blasts shattered windows at an
apartment complex 2,000 feet away, prompting evacuations.
"Look at that, it looks like the Fourth of July," said Daryl
Streety, 40, one of the hundreds of residents who watched from a
hillside overlooking the plant.
"It's a little frightening, a little intimidating," said Mike
In its metal form, magnesium is used with aluminum to make
beverage cans. It also is used to make parts for automobiles and
machines. Magnesium compound is used to line furnaces that produce
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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12-29-2003, 11:12 PM #1
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