Two open-die forging operations — Dayton Forging and Heat Treating in Dayton, OH, and Ellwood City Forge in Ellwood City, PA — suffered outages due to fires earlier this month.
The Dayton Forging fire on November 11 reportedly was caused by a malfunctioning furnace. “They were doing what is called a ‘quench,’ which is basically just dropping metal into a heated furnace,” Dayton district chief Scott Rowlett explained to local reporters. “They had some type of malfunction, still undetermined at this time. “
The furnace caught fire and the fire spread to the building’s roof, Rowlett said.
The company, a family owned open-die forger (1,800-ton and 1,000-ton presses; 5,000-lb hammer) and commercial heat treater, has not commented on the incident. There were no injuries, and all employees were safely evacuated.
Ellwood City Forge, an operating unit of the Ellwood Group Inc., likewise has not commented on the incident except to indicate the cause remained under investigation. The November 10 fire occurred in a basement area where hydraulic pumps were located. Ellwood City fire chief Rick Myers said the operation was significantly damaged, but there were no injuries. Several area fire companies responded to the fire, but the chief said it had been mostly extinguished by the plant's fire-suppression systems.
Myers credited the plant worker who recognized the fire and engaged the suppression system. Because the area is monitored by video, the employee was able to see the flames and cut fuel and power to the hydraulic pumps.
The total damage was estimated at $250,000.