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February 2, 2001

Wastewater Treatment Plant Fire

Moreland Hills, Ohio

At 0856 hrs the Chagrin Falls Fire Dept responded to a report of an explosion and fire at the Wastewater Treatment Plant on Basswood Lane in Moreland Hills.

Shortly after arrival, the fire dept. requested the Hazmat Team. Employees reported the fire started in the chlorine room and that several cylinders were stored there.

A large vapor cloud indicated that chlorine was being released. Firefighters were planning to place a master stream in place to cool the room, when a second explosion (later determined to be a BLEVE of a 150 lb chlorine cylinder) shook the area and blew out a concrete block wall.

Following this explosion, firefighters and hazmat techs withdrew from the area and allowed the fire to burn out before mopping up with handlines.

Hazmat techs then removed the leaking cylinders from the building. In all, seven cylinders were damaged and venting. It was later determined that two cylinders had BLEVE'd during the fire.

The cause of the fire was determined to be an accidental spill of degreaser into calcium hypochlorite tablets stored in the chlorine room.

Four service department employees were treated and released for injuries sustained in the spill and resulting fire. No fire service or hazmat personnel were injured in the incident.

Incident Photos