SOUTH BEND – A South Bend manufacturer has been cleared of any contamination after a huge fire leveled the company Monday night.
Firefighters from several departments were called to Abtrex Industries, a corrosion control company, just outside the South Bend city limits on the southwest side around 9:20 p.m.
Abtrex is in the 59600 block of Market St., just off Ireland Rd. and east of Mayflower Rd.
Southwest Fire Territory Chief Terry Korpal and Abtrex President Keith Byars say the Indiana Department of Environmental Management has cleared the company of any contamination of either air or nearby water.
WSBT received reports of explosions on the scene. It appears there was fiberglass and hazardous chemicals inside the building, creating quite a concern.
“We seen the flash,” said neighbor Anthony Evans. “It was like a bomb went off, and it completely illuminated the night sky.”
Another neighbor, Daniel Baker, added: “Heard sirens, heard a big bang, and I thought a car hit something. Then, I look out, and there’s ashes falling next to my house, and I only live maybe a quarter-mile away.”
It took firefighters from several area departments about 90 minutes to bring the blaze under control.
There were no reports of injuries. According to our partners at the South Bend Tribune, no one was inside the building at the time of the fire, however, there were employees in an adjacent building.
Nobody was evacuated from the area.
We’re told the company is working to get debris cleared, along with mud caused by water runoff from efforts to put out the fire.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation, but Chief Korpal says it may be linked to a certain piece of equipment.
From Abtrex website:
Our South Bend, IN plant consists of three buildings totaling over 50,000 square feet. The three buildings include the main fabrication, lining, and coating shop, the fiberglass shop and the polypropylene shop. Other major facilities include a 12 foot oven for baked-on coatings, a sandblast area, and a cold room.