published Friday, October 25th, 2013

UPDATE: Explosion, fire at Chattanooga business lead to injuries

Light smoke comes out the bay door at Designed Alloy Products. Photo by Bruce Garner.
Light smoke comes out the bay door at Designed Alloy Products. Photo by Bruce Garner.
  • photo
    A view inside the plant where the explosion occurred. Photo by Bruce Garner.

Chattanooga police and firefighters responded to Designed Alloy Products at 3033 Alton Park Blvd. just after 7:30 a.m. today after reports of a fire and an explosion, according to Chattanooga Fire Department Spokesman Bruce Garner.

Once they arrived, firefighter found a large furnace within the building surrounded in flame. Workers had reportedly been melting stainless steel in the 3,000-degree furnace.

Because of the materials and heat involved, firefighters were warned not to use water to contain the blaze, so they had to use an extinguishing powder. Garner said in a statement it took 25 minutes to contain the fire.

Three of the six workers who were injured were treated for smoke inhalation at the foundry, but the other three were taken by Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services to Erlanger hospital with burns.

This afternoon Erlanger officials said seven additional “walk-in” patients showed up at their ER to be checked out. Spokeswoman Pat Charles said all were expected to be treated and released today.

A news release from the fire department said the employee who received the worst burns from the explosion was transferred to the Burn Center at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville for additional treatment. The other two victims originally transported to Erlanger had less serious injuries and were expected to be treated and released today, the release said.

Officials continue to investigate the cause of the explosion with Lt. Andrew Waters of the fire investigation division serving as the lead investigator.

Garner did not release the names of those injured.

about Louie Brogdon...

Louie Brogdon began reporting with the Chattanooga Times Free Press in February 2013. Before he came to the Scenic City, Louie lived on St. Simons Island, Ga. and covered crime, courts, environment and government at the Brunswick News, a 17,000-circulation daily on the Georgia coast. While there, he was awarded for investigative reporting on police discipline and other law enforcement issues by the Georgia Press Association. For the Times Free Press, Louie covers Hamilton County ...

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