UPDATE @ 1:51 p.m.:
A cracked vessel holding molten steel ignited a large fire at AK Steel in Middletown this morning.
Middletown Fire Chief Paul Lolli said the crew of about 60 firefighters from four departments have now cleared the scene. One firefighter/paramedic was taken to Atrium Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries.
Lolli said the molten steel ignited other equipment and the building when it poured out.
“There was a fire at AK Steel at the basic oxygen furnace and the vessel that stores hot, molten steel somehow split open and ignited a fire in one of the buildings,” he said.
Lolli said it will take several weeks to determine what exactly happened and damage estimates at this early stage are impossible to predict.
Fire departments from Middletown, Franklin, Monroe and Liberty Twp. responded to the scene. Lolli said AK Steel’s fire crews will handle any hot spots that might flare up this afternoon.
UPDATE @ 12:52 p.m.:
The fire at AK Steel in Middletown is now out, according to Middletown’s Facebook page.
UPDATE @ 10:54 a.m:
Fire crews have been on scene of a structure fire at AK Steel in Middletown for over two hours, but appear to have the situation under control, according to dispatch.
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The incident was initially reported as heavy smoke coming from the structure in the 3400 block of Lefferson Road around 8:30 a.m.
Officials battled the fire that included molten metal reportedly flowing through the building and the second floor concrete collapsing at one point, causing crews to be removed from the first floor, per reports.
No word on injuries.
We are still working to learn what caused the fire’s start.
UPDATE @ 9:23 a.m:
Crews continue to battle a massive fire at AK Steel in Middletown that occurred Saturday morning.
The address to the fire has been updated to the 3400 block of Lefferson Road, according to officials.
We are still working to learn details on the fire and will keep this story updated.
Multiple fire crews are responding to the 1800 block of Crawford Street on a structure fire at AK Steele in Middletown, per initial reports.
The incident was reported around 8:30 a.m., and is reportedly escalating.
We have a crew on the way to the scene and will update this story with additional details.