Firefighters battled a two-alarm fire Saturday evening at an industrial chemical plant in the Town of Tonawanda.
About6 p.m., chemical oxidizers at FMC Corp. on Sawyer Avenue either reacted or ignited and started a fire in warehouse area of the plant. Firefighters from nine companies contained the fire and put out the blaze within 45 to 50 minutes, according to Ellwood Fire Chief Gary Stuff.
“Basically the stuff that was burning, it’s a dust-skin irritant,” Stuff said. “Obviously, any off-gassing or burning is a respiratory irritant. ... Once you start putting water on it, it’s fairly easy to control. It’s not really a big explosion hazard, but it takes a lot – a lot of water to get it out. That’s basically why we had so many crews.”
Plant personnel were in the building when the fire started, Stuff said. A sprinkler system was activated and a fire door closed.
Damage was estimated at $10,000 – mainly to cover cleanup and sprinkler replacement costs, Stuff said.