Five people seriously injured in fire at Republic Steel in Lorain; damage estimated in the millions

LORAIN - A fire at Republic Steel in Lorain injured five people, according to Fire Captain Tom Baker, who spoke exclusively with NewsChannel5.

The victims suffered first degree burns, broken bones, and smoke inhalation. All were transported to local hospitals.

According to firefighters, the fire started just before 2:30 p.m. Saturday and burned for about an hour.

Captain Baker said a spark or heat got into the oxygen supply of a new electrical furnace causing a blow torch effect. The system's safety measures kicked-in, stopping the flames and keeping them from reaching a section where natural gas was stored, just six feet away from the flames.

The fire continued to burn, destroying three floors within the plant before firefighters contained it.

According to Baker, all the items stored on the first floor of a concrete bunker were destroyed. Generator systems and computer systems on the second and third levels were also destroyed causing damages reaching millions of dollars.

Check back at for more information on this developing story.

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