Some report seeing objects shot into NB factory before fire

NORTH BALTIMORE — The North Baltimore Fire Department said Friday it has received several reports from people who think they saw flaming objects, such as fireworks or flares, shot into a plastic pallet yard that burned Thursday night at the HPJ Industries recycling plant, 510 W. Broadway.
Those who think they may have seen projectiles enter the pallet yard prior to the fire, which began around 11 p.m., are being urged to contact the village at 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.
Up to 100 firefighters battled the blaze in the plastic pallet yard for hours. Findlay and Bowling Green firefighters responded with aerial trucks.
North Baltimore Fire Chief Ted Francisco II said out-of-town tankers also 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 aid, 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.
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, Francisco said. Power was out at some nearby locations because of the fire burning lines.
Firefighters were able to save the building at the recycling business.
HPJ Industries, based in 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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