(NEEDMORE) - Firefighters from three departments extinguished a fire at RSI on Peerless Road Thursday afternoon.
Recycling System Inc.takes old scrap metal and melts it down into aluminum and magnesium ingots and sells them to other companies.
According to Marshall Township Volunteer Fire Department Chief Chad Hayes the fire was reported at 1:36 p.m.
When firefighters arrived they found a heavy-duty Caterpillar Front Loader on fire.
"The front-loader caught on fire inside the building," Hayes says. "Employees ran for a fire extinguisher and tried to put the fire out, but it just got away from them."
Hayes said because of the delay of calling 911 the machinery was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. Firefighters from Marshall, Oolitic and Shawswick Volunteer Fire Departments responded.
All of the employees escaped the building and no one was injured.
"The loader was destroyed, but there was no damage to the building," Hayes says. "But there were toxic fumes. There are a lot of hazardous materials inside the building and it was filled with a strong ammonia odor. It was a concern. Firefighters wore air-packs the whole time."
Hayes says the employee operating the loader told firefighters he was moving salt and molten metal and was backing the loader when he noticed flames shooting from between the cab and motor area.
"We are speculating a hydraulic hose ruptured spraying onto the engine, causing the fire," Hayes says. "But we may never know for sure. There was just so much damage to the loader."
Hayes says after the blaze was extinguished, the building was ventilated and employees resumed work.
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