Manufacturing plant fire causes $5 million in damage

(Photo by Kathleen Serie)
(Photo by Kathleen Serie)(KXII)
Published: Apr. 5, 2017 at 4:46 AM CDT
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A fire that broke out early Wednesday morning at a metal fabrication business in Troy after bottle of compressed nitrogen fell into molten metal caused an estimated $5 million in damage, officials said.

At around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, an employee was working on a piece of equipment at Anderton Castings at 222 Lely Dr. in Troy when a nitrogen bottle above the die-casting machine fell into the molten metal.

The bottle exploded, shot straight up, and ignited the ceiling, officials said.

"I saw a bunch of red flames that were going up to the roof and once I got outside, the roof was just pretty much on fire," C.J Williams, Anderton Castings employee said.

The flames quickly spread throughout about half of the 142,000-square-foot manufacturing building.

The employee was wearing protective gear and wasn’t injured.

About 50 other employees were in the building when the fire started and they also escaped safely.

Fire crews remained at the scene Wednesday afternoon, removing damaged portions of the building to get to hot spots.

Despite the extensive damage, some of the machines in the facility were unaffected and officials estimate the plant will be back in business within two weeks to a month.

The company, which primarily makes auto parts, employs about 300 workers at the plant, which is on a 30-acre site.

The company also has facilities in Monterrey, Mexico and in Andrezieux-Boutheon, France.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do now,” said one man who works at the plant and spoke with KWTX by phone.

He explained Anderton Castings bought the business in 2015 from its original owners and changed the name from C and H Die Casting to Anderton.

Another fire broke out in the plant in the mid-90s.