Explosion, fireball touch off factory fire

Aluminum St. Fire 1

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A malfunction in a heating machine lead to an explosion and fire at an east side factory early Tuesday.

Fire units were called to MidAmerica Extrusions in the 4900 block of Aluminum Drive shortly after 2 a.m. That scene is near East 30th Street and Massachusetts Avenue.

The factory specializes in heating up and molding aluminum. An oven that heats the aluminum to one thousand degrees reportedly malfunctioned and sent a fireball toward the ceiling of the plant.

Fire officials say the fire got sucked into a power air vent which caught a section of the roof on fire.

Workers apparently tried to fight the blaze themselves at first, but called the fire department when they realized they could not reach the flames once they got into the ceiling.

Employees were evacuated and there were no reports of injuries.

Damage to the factory has been estimated at $20,000.

Fire investigators say the process will be shut down until state workplace safety officials can inspect the equipment involved in the fire.

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