Dexter Benecke, Ridgeville Township Fire Department chief, said Ridgeville firefighters were called to fight a fire at Alex Products, Ridgeville Corners, early Monday morning, April 14.
Benecke said firefighters received the call at about 4:08 am, for a fire in a "smoke eater."
The company’s third shift was at work at the time.
A smoke eater, he said, is an air filtration machine that uses paper filters to filter smoke from welding operations.
A welding spark is believed to have been pulled into the device, starting a fire in the filter elements.
Benecke said Alex products did a good job of evacuating employees and closing fire doors in the building.
"They did a good job of following their safety procedures," he said.
When firefighters arrived, smoke was rolling out of an outside overhead door.
A firefighter got on top of the machine and attacked the fire through an inspection port. Others removed an inspection panel on the side of the machine and attacked the fire from there.
The blaze was quickly extinguished.
"We only used about 100 gallons of water," Benecke said.
Part of the third shift was able to return to work. The company was back in full production later that morning, he said.
Damage was estimated at $5,000.
Benecke said since Alex Production has been in operation, there have been four fires at the plant. The Monday morning fire was the worst, he said.–posted 4.17, 4 pm