Pat Callihan and Hank Stull spent part of their workday Friday out of the office, visiting the fire departments that came to them on July 4.
The officials with Ellwood Engineered Castings in Hubbard handed out $500 checks to the Brookfield, Hubbard and Liberty fire departments to thank them for their responses to a fire.
The firefighters at the Youngstown-Warren Air Reserve Station in Vienna also responded, but they got lunch. As federal employees, they are not allowed to receive monetary donations, said Callihan, Ellwood’s president.
“We appreciate it,” said Brookfield Interim Fire Chief Dave Coffy. “They (Ellwood) don’t have to do that.”
Ellwood makes iron castings for the steel industry, Callihan said. The castings, also known as molds, weigh anywhere from one to 160 tons, and are ordered by forges to make steel ingots.
On July 4, a sand mold used to make castings failed, and molten iron leaked out, Callihan said. This is not a rare occurrence and Ellwood has a protocol for how to handle it, he said.
However, the iron rolled under a wall and set wood boxes on fire, causing more of a problem than employees could handle, Callihan said.
The iron is poured at 2,450 degrees, and it was plenty hot in the mill when firefighters arrived.
Firefighters could not initially be on the floor because of the heat, so a foreman directed them to a catwalk, Coffy said.
A Liberty firefighter stepped into the foam that had been used to douse the flames, but the material had heated up to the point that it melted the bottom of his boot off, Coffy said. The firefighter knew something was wrong right away and got out of the foam without suffering any injury.
The money will be placed into the general fire fund, and most likely will be used for vehicle repairs, Coffy said.