It took five departments and 2,000 gal of water to extinguish an asphalt plant fire at Rupp Construction in Marshville, Ohio, this past spring. No employees or firefighters were injured.
One of the greatest hazards in handling hot asphalt is exposure to a source of ignition. Asphalt combustion typically occurs when it’s overheated in the presence of an adequate oxygen supply. This occurred at the Rupp Construction when an employee using a torch to heat a valve, which caused tar to catch on fire, Kyle Nussbaum, assistant chief at East Wayne Fire District, said.
Firefighters were able to contain the fire to an asphalt machine. Nussbaum said 90-95% of the plant was metal, reducing the likelihood of a widespread blaze, but "residual tar and asphalt had caught fire."
Fire departments from Orrvile, Chippewa Township, North Lawrence and Lawrence Township all came to the scene of the fire to provide aid.
Now that the blaze is an element of the past, Rupp is back in business producing hot mix, cold mix, limestone and sand.