DELTA — A statewide emergency plan was activated for a massive fire Monday evening here at a new metal recycling facility.
Fire departments and emergency responders from all over northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan were called to the blaze at MetalX, 7300 Ohio 109, Delta. The facility is located near the North Star BlueScope Steel plant, just south of U.S. 20.
Late Monday evening fire crews remained on the scene while law enforcement officers controlled traffic around the scene south of the Ohio Turnpike. At least three roads were closed — U.S. 20, between County Road 10 and Madison Street in Delta; Ohio 109, between U.S. 20 and County Road H; and County Road, between Ohio 109 and County Road 7-2.
Few details were available Monday as crews were battling the fire, which was large enough to activate a statewide emergency response plan that allowed local authorities to call in resources from outside the immediate Delta area.
Initially, the Fulton County fire departments of Delta, Lyons, Swanton and Wauseon were summoned to the scene around 6:10 p.m. Monday while Liberty Center’s was called in shortly thereafter. But more resources were needed.
The state plan is carried out by the county, according to Defiance Fire Chief Bill Wilkins. Each county then decides which resources to provide.
“When the plan gets activated, they’ve used up the resources of their county,” said Wilkins, coordinator for Defiance County’s emergency plan responsibilities. “It’s not just for small events.”
In Defiance County’s case, tankers from Delaware Township, Highland Township and Jewell were called to the scene.
And in Henry County, Liberty Center was joined by the Napoleon Fire Department, which provided a ladder truck, engine and manpower, according to that department.
Wilkins said Williams County emergency responders also contributed manpower and an advance life support unit.
Meanwhile, Paulding County EMA sent some equipment as well, according to radio traffic monitored Monday evening.
Fire departments appeared to be accessing water from the Delta reservoir, located on the north side of town along roads H and 7-2, and not far from the scene.
Wilkins did not know if any casualties had been reported from the fire or the response.
He said around 10 p.m. Monday that Defiance County provided all the resources they could as they needed to ensure the safety of local communities as well.
Smoke from the blaze was visible from many miles away before sunset Monday evening. After dark, the fire ball and its glow could be seen from a considerable distance.
According to a story published in the Fulton County Expositor newspaper in November, MetalX opened within the past year. It noted that the company was designed to process large amounts of ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal.