UPDATE: Officials looking for answers in North Baltimore fire

NORTH BALTIMORE — The North Baltimore Fire Department said it has received several reports from people who think they saw flaming objects, such as fireworks or flares, shot into a pallet yard that caught fire last night at HPJ Industries plant, 510 W. Broadway.

Those who think they might have seen projectiles enter the yard prior to the fire, which began around 11 p.m., are urged to contact the village (419) 257-2394, or the state fire marshal’s office at 888-252-0803.

Officials are trying to gather as much information as possible to determine the cause of the blaze, battled by up to 100 firefighters, that occurred in the plant’s plastic pallet yard.

Findlay and Bowling Green firefighters responded with aerial trucks.

North Baltimore Fire Chief Ted Francisco II said out-of-town tankers were summoned when the village realized it was rapidly depleting its available water to fight the fire.

Fire departments from Bloomdale, Cygnet, Allen Township, McComb, Milton Township, Weston, Liberty Township and Hoytville also came to North Baltimore’s aide, as did emergency medical technicians from Bowling Green, Bloomdale and Weston.

No one was injured or had to be evacuated, Francisco said.

Hancock County firefighters returned to their stations around 3 a.m. Friday, after the fire had been extinguished. By Friday afternoon, investigators were still examining the scene. Workers from the Environmental Projection Agency had also arrived.

Heat from the fire melted siding on a nearby church and about four homes, said Francisco. Water service to some places within the vicinity was shut off for a time, and power was out at some locations because of the fire burning lines.

Firefighters were able to save the building at the recycling business.

HPJ Industries, of Bowling Green, is a plastics recycler and supplier of packaging for the automotive industry. It also has plants in Deshler and Laredo, Texas.



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