Fire leaves Columbiana County fertilizer business in ruins
Nearly a dozen different fire departments were called out to help battle a massive blaze in Columbiana County, that left a fertilizer business in shambles Monday night.
Nearly a dozen different fire departments were called out to help battle a massive blaze in Columbiana County that left a fertilizer business in shambles Monday night.
Crews were called out shortly after 6 p.m. for reports of a commercial structure fully engulfed in flames along Route 30.
Aaron Stoller, the Fire Chief of the Sandy Creek/Minerva Fire District told 21 News crews on the scene, that when firefighters arrived to Hoopes Fertilizer Works there were no flames showing, but lots of smoke.
Stoller says shortly after that there were several small explosions caused by diesel gas tanks on the property, some of them even powerful enough to blow the roof off of the building.
Firefighters had to be called out of the building for safety reasons, and begin attacking the blaze from a defensive strategy.
Chief Stoller tells 21 News the layout of the structure also played a role in battling the blaze. The large, industrialized pole barn structure contained beams which could have toppled quickly once the flames ignited. However, Stoller says that didn't happen.
Hoopes does not carry fertilizer during the winter months, instead it supplies deicing chemicals and rock salt to local companies, airports, and roads according to information about the company.
Chief Stoller says they were lucky to only have a few small bags of fertilizer in the building, since it would have burned much more quickly than the salt material.
During the course of the battle, several trains had to be stopped from coming near the business, some of them containing crude oil, according to Stoller.
At least 80 firefighters from 10 different departments helped to fight the fire, using more than 100,000 gallons of water.
Stoller said he was thankful to the Ohio Department of Transportation for keeping the roadways salted and ice free.
He expects that the business is a complete loss, but couldn't speculate on a price tag for the damage done by the fire.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation at this time.