Ohio Industrial Fire Extinguished

Members of 18 local fire departments helped put out a four-alarm, smoky industrial fire that broke out early Wednesday morning at a machine shop in Forest Park.

The fire started just before 8 a.m. inside the Faxon Machining Inc.'s 150,000-square-foot horseshoe-shaped complex at 11101 Adwood Drive. Thick smoke rose hundreds of feet and was being carried by the wind in an easterly direction.

Workers were evacuated safely after the fire broke out, and there were no reports of injuries, said Lt. Brian Sims, spokesman for the Forest Park Fire Department. People working at the several nearby businesses were not evacuated, but were told to stay inside because of the toxic smoke.

Damage was estimated at $10 million.

The plant's first shift had started operations when fire began in an oil-treatment machine and quickly spread inside the steel-skinned industrial building, Sims said. Drilling machines are located throughout the building, and each has an oil-treatment machine, he said.

Firefighters initially advanced on the blaze but then retreated because of a fear of explosions. There was one small explosion of what appeared to be an acetylene or propane tank, Sims said.

Firefighters were using foam and water to battle the blaze, and cutting through the roof to let smoke escape and give them more access to the flames.

Forest Park firefighters were the first on the scene and were joined by firefighters from Fairfield, Woodlawn, Springdale, Greenhills, Evendale, Sharonville, Mount Healthy, Glendale, Wyoming, Liberty Township, Lockland, Arlington, Reading, Greater Cincinnati Haz-Mat, Anderson, Colerain and Springfield townships.

The Ohio fire marshal and environmental protection officials were also called to the scene. The fire marshal, the Forest Park Fire Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating.

It appeared Wednesday afternoon that the fire was accidental, Forest Park fire officials reported.

Faxon Machining is a family-owned business in operation since 1978 and served a variety of industries, including mold manufacturing, aerospace, oil and energy, automotive and medical.

Forest Park Economic Development Director Paul Brehm said the Faxon complex is actually an original building, constructed in about 1993, plus two additions.

The company, in fact, just completed a 70,000-square-foot expansion for which it received tax incentives in 2000, Brehm said.

"This is a shame," Brehm said of the fire. "This is a true family-owned business and it has been very successful.

"The whole company is like a big family. It's a shame to see them have to go through this."

Post staff reporter Kevin Eigelbach contributed.