The cause of the immense fire at MetalX in Delta on Sept. 16 may never be known, but it doesn’t appear to be foul play.
Delta Fire Chief Scott Smith has called the origin of the blaze accidental but undetermined in nature. He said that ruling is due to the amount of damage and the volume of material firefighters had to move around the location in order to extinguish the fire.
Nothing at the scene indicated suspicious activity, Smith said. The tons of burning material, which drew the response of approximately 250 firefighters from 73 departments in Ohio and Michigan, consisted mostly of cars and old appliances.
Delta fire crews were called to the business at 7300 State Route 109 at approximately 6:15 a.m. Monday and left the scene at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. They were called back until about 1 a.m. Wednesday to extinguish flare-ups in the debris.
The Fulton County Emergency Management Agency, local law enforcement agencies, and utility companies also responded to the fire. “It was a unified effort,” Smith said.
Approximately 9 million gallons of water was pumped onto the fire, according to a fire department Facebook post. It included water drawn from the pond at MetalX, water from village hydrants, and water trucked in from off-site ponds and reservoirs.
Smoke from the fire could be seen from as far as Blissfield, Mich. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said after a visit to the site that no harmful chemicals were released into the air during the blaze.
Scott said four firefighters suffered minor injuries, with two receiving hospital treatment.
The blaze closed portions of surrounding roads including parts of State Route 109 and U.S. 20A.
A MetalX spokesperson did not return calls for further information.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.