Investigators seek help in determining industrial fire cause

WDTN Photo/Adam Schrand

HARRISON TWP., Ohio (WDTN) – Cleanup at the site of a major industrial fire will be slow, but steady, while investigators continue to look for what sparked the fire.

Crews were back out Monday at Alpine Metal Finishing in Harrison Township.

Investigators say they must first make sure the burned out building is safe enough to enter. That will happen sometime Tuesday at the earliest.

Large chunks of twisted metal must be removed, so crews must also monitor the air quality to make sure nothing dangerous gets into the air.

Firefighters say the cause of the fire probably won’t come until the end of the week. The cause is officially considered undetermined. The State Fire Marshal is asking anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious to let them know.

We asked about the long term environmental impact of the fire.

Harrison Township Fire Chief Mark Lynch says a ditch system is in place to catch any runoff at the location so that no chemicals will reach the water supply.

The Ohio EPA says it has no evidence that any chemical runoff reached the nearby river.

The fire department plans to monitor the air, once it starts moving materials inside the building.

“It’s not an easy, simple fix,” Lynch says. “You have to be careful about what you do whenever hazardous materials are involved.”

Workers went back to work Monday. They were transferred into the company’s other two buildings on the property.

Complete cleanup will take at least a month, according to Lynch. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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