Thursday, April 19, 2018 Elyria 32°
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Firefighters battle underground blaze at Elyria Foundry

  • 22768957-1

    Firefighters battle a blaze underground at the Elyria Foundry on Thursday.

    LUCAS FORTNEY / CHRONICLE

  • 22768954

    Firefighters battle a blaze underground at the Elyria Foundry on Thursday.

    LUCAS FORTNEY / CHRONICLE

  • 22768967-2

    Firefighters battle a blaze underground at the Elyria Foundry on Thursday.

    LUCAS FORTNEY / CHRONICLE

  • 22768970-3

    Firefighters battle a blaze underground at the Elyria Foundry on Thursday.

    LUCAS FORTNEY / CHRONICLE

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ELYRIA – Firefighters are fighting a small fire in an underground tunnel at the Elyria Foundry on Filbert Street.

Elyria firefighters arrived just after 12:30 p.m. to find smoke coming from a building near the southern portion of the complex. Elyria Fire Assistant Chief Joe Pronesti said motors and conveyor belts that run beneath the complex are the cause and firefighters are working in an underground service tunnel to extinguish the fire.

Employees have been evacuated from the facility. There is no danger to the public because of the fire, but Pronesti said firefighters are working in dangerous conditions in the building that is likely more than 100 years old.

The Elyria Foundry manufactures specialty and engineered gray and ductile iron castings for the natural gas compression, energy and heavy industrial markets. The complex spans about 30 acres of Gateway Boulevard and was founded in 1905.

Firefighters are familiar with the foundry. A fire in December 2013 kept the plant closed for two weeks.

A fire in November 2012 caused between $5 million and $10 million in damage, according to the department. An explosion and fire in January 2012 caused non-life threatening injuries to a worker.

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