Petroleum Plant Fire closes busy highway

At approximately 0645 on the morning of Saturday June 2nd Columbus Division of Fire companies, along with companies from the City of Whitehall and Mifflin Township were sent to a Waste Oil Reclamation Refinery just south of Port Columbus International Airport.  This facility has been the source of several previous multi-alarm fires and hazmat calls. On this date a valve to an above ground storage tank failed, resulting in a fire that produced smoke that could be seen miles away. Shortly after the incident was declared a working fire, it was declared a working hazmat incident and firefighting operations went into a defensive mode. Columbus Police also shut down a ¾ mile stretch of East Fifth Ave in both directions.  Columbus Fire’s Hazmat team was already at another incident, so a hazmat response was delayed until off duty personnel could be called in to staff a backup rig. Box 15 was called about 45 minutes into the incident and Rehab 1 arrived with a crew of 3 within the hour. Fortunately, it was a sunny clear morning with temperatures in the 60s, so the efforts of fire companies were not exhausting. After  a backup valve was closed and petroleum products in the line was able to burn off, the situation was contained and Box 15 was able to clear after being on the scene 1 ½ hours.
                                      

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