12 workers treated after fire at Mercer County weapons mfgr - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

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12 workers treated after fire at Mercer County weapons manufacturer

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GREENE TWP., MERCER CO., Pa. - A dozen people were taken to UPMC Greenville hospital after fire broke out at a Mercer County manufacturer of tactical weapons near Jamestown.

Dispatchers received a call from Combined Systems Incorporated at 388 Kinsman Road just before 5:50 a.m. Tuesday.

The caller reported a small fire in the tear gas room, but told the dispatcher that the fire had a potential of spreading rapidly. The caller also reported the fumes as "horrendous".

Firefighters arriving on the scene reported smoke showing, but characterized the fire as small in size.

Jamestown fire chief Mike Cadman tells 21 News that most of the fire had been put out by a state-of-the-art fire suppression system in the building.

Crews from surrounding departments were called to assist, but were canceled just after 6:00 a.m. when firefighters on the scene reported that the fire was under control.

Ambulances were dispatched from surrounding communities to treat employees complaining of breathing problems, and one person experiencing chest pains.  Chief Cadman says 12 people were taken to the hospital for treatment of exposure to tear gas, but it appears that their injuries are not serious.

Cadman says the tear gas was not an issue for firefighters because they wear breathing apparatus. However he points out that if someone's skin is exposed to the gas, it could cause some irritation.

Chief Cadman says the cause of the fire is still being investigated, but speculates that it may have been caused by an equipment malfunction.

According to the company web site, Combined Systems, Inc. is an engineering, manufacturing and supply company of tactical munitions and crowd control devices to armed forces, law enforcement, corrections and homeland security agencies.

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