Firefighters from across Lake County battle cold weather in Mentor industrial fire

Thermal imaging cameras used to find fire inside

MENTOR, Ohio - Mentor firefighters were called to an industrial fire at Onward Coatings on Tyler Boulevard. The fire was first reported at 8:53 p.m. Wednesday when an alarm in the building went off and a worker alerted his boss that he smelled smoke.

Mentor Fire Public Information Officer Nathan Peters said when crews arrived the area was filled with smoke and fire crews needed to use their thermal imaging cameras to find their way to the fire in a large machine.

"Due to the large complex, industrial nature of this building we wanted a lot of extra support to make sure we could get to this fire safely and extinguish it," said Peters.

"We did have to cut a hole through the roof and also just dealing with the winter weather like this, frozen fire hydrants is sort of a delay for an operation like this so we did have to call on a lot of communities."

As a result a second alarm was called which brought in more than a dozen fire departments to help if needed.

"We needed to have the crews here initially for first (alarm). We're a long way inside this building," he said.

Firefighters inside an industrial building can get lost easily in smoky conditions he said, "so we wanted to make sure we had those extra crews here."

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


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