COLUMBUS (Kelsey Mallahan) — Firefighters will remain on the scene of a large industrial fire into Saturday morning.
It started at around 5:00 p.m. Friday at Burton Metal Finishing Inc. on the 1600 block of Woodland Ave.
Workers at the business next door started calling 9-1-1 when they saw the neighboring facility on fire. Second shift workers at Amatech Polycel Inc. were talk to leave the building.
“It was hard to breathe in our building,” said Rolanda Johnson, employee at Amatech Polycel Inc. “They said it was chemicals in the fire. That’s a great concern for me,” she said.
Officials with the Columbus Division of Fire told ABC 6/FOX 28 News that acid-based chemicals are stored at Burton Metal, but none were involved in the fire; however, crews took precautions and kept people inside their homes because of the amount of smoke billowing from the building.
“The smell was really strong, overwhelming,” said Dustin Williams, who was visiting his friend next to the burning business. “One of my friends almost passed out from it,” he said.
Because of the size of the building and the amount of fire, it was deemed a three-alarm fire.
Fire investigators say the owner of the business was there when the fire started and suffered from smoke inhalation. He had to be rescued from the burning building, according to firefighters on scene.
Crews will remain on the scene into Saturday to make sure all the hot spots are out.
The exact cause of the fire remains a mystery.
According to the company’s website, it has been in business since 1986 and conducts a variety of finishes to metals, including Andoizing, Chromate Conversion Coating and Zinc processes.