BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - It was not your typical two alarmer, when fire broke out in a Buffalo company that handles titanium.
Just before 5 p.m., titanium metal started burning in the rafters of Goldman Titanium on Dorothy Street, a titanium recycling plant. Buffalo firefighters knew right away what not to do.
Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield said, "We put out the call immediately not to use water because it is water reactive."
Instead, they had to use what's called "soda ash" to put out the hot metal fire. That's the reason for the special suits worn by firefighters.
"All of those persons that were inside deploying the soda ash and were exposed to the soda ash, so their clothes were covered in soda ash, they took them off, we bagged up the clothes to take them down to be cleaned, and in the interim, we got them in these white suits," explained Whitfield.
The fire itself didn't send up much smoke, and didn't seem to be of much concern to the neighbors in the Seneca-Babcock neighborhood. But what neighbors are concerned about are thousands of shards of titanium metal, even across the street from this plant. They're in the street, even going down the storm drains.
Mariah Maund said, "Titanium chips. They're in the street, you can like, see them over there. Like in the summer, sometimes I'll cut my foot on them when I'm walking in flip flops."
Clinton-Bailey Community Association President Mary Taber said, "We are very concerned with the type of business that's here because it's titanium. There are chemicals and sometimes you have smoke coming out of the chimney, which has coloring, and it lands on people's cars and smells like sulfur."
This isn't the first fire at the company either, so while the commissioner was there, he made arrangements with plant management to meet with the city's fire prevention officers to try to stop any more fires at Goldman Titanium.
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