Large trash fire produces thick, black smoke at plastics company in Columbus

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

COLUMBUS (July 7, 2014) – Columbus firefighters battled a large plastics fire today at the Gladstone Ave. Faurecia plant.

Faurecia, one of the largest international automotive parts manufacturers in the world, is located at 601 South Gladstone Ave.

At 10:16 am firefighters were dispatched to a rubbish fire at 601 South Gladstone Ave.  At 10:17 am Columbus Fire Department Battalion Chief Tim Hughes was the first firefighter to arrive on the scene. Battalion Chief Hughes advised all incoming units that plastic containers were on fire in an exterior storage area located on the property.

The fire was located on the northeast corner of the plant grounds. When firefighters arrived they found approximately 6000 square feet of storage containers fully involved. Many of the plastic containers were stacked on top of one another. As the containers burned, automotive parts spilled to the ground below.  Thick black smoke billowed from the scene as firefighters applied water to the melting plastic.

As crews worked at the scene we received a report of a structure fire at the Cummins office building located near the Faurecia property. This report was unfounded and most likely a passerby calling in due to the large amount of smoke. Several  homes along State Street were evacuated as a precaution. One family requested a medical check out, but refused transport to the hospital.

Battalion Chief Hughes deemed the fire under control at 10:45 am. Firefighters were on the scene for a total of 4 hours. The overhaul of this scene was extensive. No firefighters or Faurecia employees were injured.

Plant Manager Eric Bailey said that the plastic containers housed filter cans that are used in exhaust systems. According to Faurecia, the cans are laser welded inside the plant are then stored in a cooling area before being placed in the plastic containers. Bailey stated that he could not explain why the containers would be on fire.

Faurecia estimated that the cost of materials damaged in the fire was close to $250,000. They estimated that the amount of material in the storage area would take 1 week of production to reproduce.

The fire is currently under investigation.