MIDDLETOWN â€” A fire at AK Steel on Monday night is believed to have started with lubricating oil in a storage tanker, a Middletown deputy fire chief said.
There were no injuries.
Fire crews were dispatched at about 8 p.m., said the deputy chief, Brent Dominy. The fire was under control by 9:56 p.m. and the cause remains under investigation.
Mike Wallner, general manager of communications and public relations for AK Steel, said the fire would have no impact on plant operations.
No money estimate of damage was given.
An odor of oil lingered in the air as fire and police were allowing trucks to leave and enter the plant at Oxford State Road sometime after 9 p.m..
The flames and thick black plumes of smoke that could be seen coming AK Steel earlier tonight have disappeared. Witnesses said the smoke and flames could be seen from several blocks away.
The air “was nasty,” said Mike Slusher, who lives in an apartment building on Lefferson Road, across the street from the plant. Slusher works at Suncoke in Middletown, which is near AK Steel, and has nephews who work at AK Steel. They were not at work Monday night, he said.
“You could taste it,” Slusher said of the air. “I wouldn’t let my dog outside.”
Police blocked South Breiel Boulevard and Lefferson Road, one of the intersections leading to the plant. Several people pulled over on Breiel to watch the flames.
Slusher said he also could see the flames from his residence, flames that “kept going and going and going forever.”