Explosion at Canton oil refining plant caused millions of dollars in damages

CANTON, Ohio - A fiery explosion that took place over the weekend at a Canton chemical processing plant caused about $12.5 million in damages, according to firefighters.

Canton firefighters said an off duty police officer alerted 911 dispatchers of the blaze at the Hydrodec North America LLC plant, located in the 2000 block of Steinway Blvd SE, around 4:09 p.m. Sunday.

Hydrodec is an oil refining and chemical processing company, according to its website.

Firefighters said two employees were working inside of the plant, when flames broke out.

The employees were able to hit the emergency shut offs, and then evacuated the building safely.

Firefighters said hitting the emergency shut offs stopped hazardous materials from spreading to the fire.

When firefighters arrived, they said it was difficult to determine what hazardous materials were involved inside. That's when the hazmat team was called in to investigate.

Firefighters said the materials turned to be oil based products, liquid hydrogen and ammonia, which did not pose as significant threats to the public. Therefore, no homes were evacuated in the area.

About 40 firefighters helped battle the blaze.  It took crews about two hours to knock down the bulk of the fire. They then stayed on scene for almost five hours checking for hotspots.

No one was hurt.

Firefighters said a portion of the plant is a total loss with damages estimated at $12.5 million dollars.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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