Painesville Township firefighters battling large fire at Hardy Industrial Technologies

PAINESVILLE TOWNSHIP, Ohio - Firefighters in Lake County are continuing to fight a fire at an industrial plant in Painesville Township -- nearly 24 hours after it started.

The fire broke out Thursday at about 10 a.m. at Hardy Industrial Technologies on Hardy Road, located just off Fairport Nursery Road.

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According to the Painesville Township Fire Department, Hardy Road has been closed while crews work to put out the fire.

Firefighters spent the overnight and early morning waiting for the fire to burn out.  Flames flared on and off all morning. Though water and foam were used to extinguish the fire some hot spots are too dangerous for firefighters to get to.

The plant on fire belongs to Hardy Industrial Technologies. It makes a type of animal feed using hydrogenated vegetable oil. That is what is burning.

Painesville Fire Chief Frank Whittaker said the air is safe, non-toxic, and continues to be monitored.

Two plants workers suffered exposure to heat and smoke, but refused to be taken to the hospital for evaluation, the fire department said.

Emergency workers sent out this reverse 911 call to residents in the area:
"Residents near the fire – from Hardy Road east to Bacon Road, and from Oakwood north to the lake -- there are no unusual hazards. We will advise if further actions are required. If you have any questions, call 440-350-5499."

The Riverside Local School District sent this message to parents:
"At approximately 10:00 a.m., a fire was reported at the Hardy Industrial Technologies plant on Hardy Road.   Authorities report that the large plumes of smoke are not toxic; and although some roads have been closed around the facility, there is limited ability to get in and out of neighborhoods; however we are not permitted to drop off any Township Park and Lake Erie Shore students until officials give us authority to do so.  All Township Park and Lake Erie Shore students from Hale Road, LaMuth or private or parochial schools will not be dropped off, instead they will stay at LaMuth Middle School for parental pick up.  Any John R. Williams students living in Painesville Township Park or Lake Erie Shores will be held at the Riverside High School lecture room.  If parents cannot pick up their students we will bus the children home when we get permission from the authorities."

A person working at a store near the fire told NewsChannel5 there was a nasty, metallic smell in the air.

According to its website , HIT manufactures solid fuels used in natural consumer and industrial wax products, as well as alternative solid and liquid fuels for boilers and steel mills.

Keep checking for more information.

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