4141422_web1_gtr-LatrobeFire20210814_0382 Technology No injuries reported in Latrobe industry fire that prompted hazmat response

Employees were evacuated from Carpenter Technology early Saturday morning after a fire broke out in a lab within the Latrobe facility, according to Latrobe fire Chief John Brasile.

No injuries were reported during the incident.

Firefighters and hazmat teams responded to 2626 Ligonier St. shortly before 9:30 a.m. for reports of the fire. According to Brasile, an electrical disconnect box sparked the fire, which was in a room with tanks of hydrochloric acid.

However, the fire impacted a tank containing water, according to Heather Beardsley, spokeswoman for Carpenter Technology.

Reports received earlier indicated the impacted tank was filled with acid. However, Beardsley said, “It was just the water tank that was involved in this today.”

According to Brasile, the fire caused the fiberglass side of the tank to melt, causing product to leak onto the floor.

He noted the fiberglass created a lot of black smoke, but crews were able to quickly extinguish the fire.

Brasile said the fire and the spill were contained to a lab within the facility.

Once crews extinguished the fire, they sprayed water on the product in case it was acid to help dilute it.

Hazmat teams were called to help decontaminate the area and gear used by firefighters.

“It takes times to get everything cleared out and the (decontamination) with the equipment and our men,” Brasile said.

Crews were on the scene for several hours, and firetrucks were seen entering through a back gate on Lincoln Avenue.

Across Lincoln Avenue, Loretta Aukerman was designing flower arrangements at Blossoms and Branches Flower Shop, where she is co-owner, when she saw smoke coming from Carpenter Technology.

At first, Aukerman said she thought it was dust from a street sweeper. One of her delivery workers, however, informed her it was from a fire.

“It was so thick,” she said of the smoke, noting that firefighters who arrived on scene told her to stay inside.

Crews from Lloydsville and Bradenville assisted.

The scene was cleared around 12:30 p.m.

Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, mtomasic@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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