The Garfield Alloy Fire

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The Garfield Alloy Fire

Garfield Alloy FireGarfield Alloy, Inc. is amagnesium recycler• Process magnesiumwastes into magnesiumingots for re-use• 16 acre site with 4buildings and manystorage trailers• 8 employees on site attime of fire• 2 million pounds ofmagnesium stored inbuildings and trailers


Garfield Alloy Fire• 10 milessoutheast ofCleveland• Located adjacentto residents, MillCreek, railroadtracks and otherindustrialbusinesses• 2000 Censusdata estimates21,434 peoplelive within 1 mileof plant


Garfield Alloy FireFire started at 2:59 pmwhen one drum accidentallyignited three other drums.• Usually, magnesium fires areextinguished with M-130 Mflux.• Flux was unable to controlthis quickly spreading fire.• Fire Departments from 7cities responded.


Garfield Alloy Fire • Magnesium is a silveryMg(s) + 2H 2O(g)Mg(OH) 2(aq) + H 2(g)white metal found in theearth’s s crust.• Magnesium burns at5,000°F.• Magnesium is used tomanufacturer aluminumcans, machinery parts, andcars.• Magnesium reacts withsteam and water to givemagnesium oxide (MgO)and hydrogen gas (H 2).• The released hydrogen gascan cause fire andexplosion.


Garfield Alloy Fire


Garfield Alloy FireFire Fighters attempt tosave adjacent buildingswith water• Water cannot be used onfire, due to explosions• Attempted to use foamproduct without success• A number of adjacentbusinesses were saved


Garfield Alloy Fire• Following hugeexplosions and brokenwindows late on Dec 29,60 families wereevacuated.• Later an additional 80families were evacuated.• The huge fire could beseen for over 20 milesand the huge explosionsshook the ground formiles around.


Garfield Alloy Fire• Stored on-site were:• 2 million pounds of magnesium (ingots,scrap and dross)*• 8 cylinders of nitrogen gas• 7 cylinders of sodium dioxide• 1 cylinder of argon• 3 cylinder of sulfur hexafloride• 5 tanks of propane for bobcats*• 5 cylinders and 5 tanks of propane• 9 cylinders of acetylene• 4 cylinders of oxygen• 2 55-gallon drums of hydraulic oil*• Miscellaneous cleaning and processchemicals** Materials destroyed in the fire.


Garfield Alloy Fire8 Air Sample Locations:• in residential areas,• in the plume of smoke,• on perimeter of thesiteOhio EPA and SewerDistrict collected watersamples from sewers,the runoff and MillCreek.q = Sample Location


Garfield Alloy Fire• Air Monitoring insmoke plume and atsample locations with:• PID and FID• CGI, O 2, H 2 S meter• Drager tubes forammonia, chlorine,and acid gasNo readings or not abovebackground on allinstruments


Garfield Alloy Fire• Air Sampling at SampleLocations:• Personal Data RAM• Summa Canisters –Method TO-14• Absorbent tubes andcassettes for metals andtubes for volatile organics• HAPsite – from ClevelandFire Department –organics library scan


Garfield Alloy Fire• Analytical Results fromDecember 29 (first night):• Magnesium/Magnesium Oxideranged from


Garfield Alloy Fire• Analytical Results fromDecember 30, 2003(next morning):• Magnesium/MagnesiumOxide was non-detect(< 5.2 µg/m3 ).• Data RAM 0.0 to31,054.7 µg/m3 fromthe fire area (directdraw pump).


Garfield Alloy Fire• U.S. EPA’s s ASPECTteam used theirairborne IR system toimage the fire on 12/30.• Temperatures above30°C C are pure white.• The IR system can alsobe used to identifychemical plumes.• No plumes of MgO weredetected leaving theheated area on 12/30.


Garfield Alloy Fire


Garfield Alloy Fire


Garfield Alloy Fire


Garfield Alloy Fire


Garfield Alloy FireQuestions ?????

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