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Officials: All fire units have been called off; roads are reopened after Delta scrapyard fire

According to Delta Fire Chief Scott Smith, metal still needs to cool off.

Delta Fire Chief Scott Smith said that all fire units have been called off and metal just needs to cool off for now. 

According to officials, all roads that were closed because of the fire have reopened. 

People will still see a little bit of what appears to be smoke but it's actually steam from the heat of the metal. 

Although fire crews have left the scene, experts who work with metal are still monitoring the situation. 

The cause of the fire is not known and continues to be investigated by the Ohio State Fire Marshal's Office.  

Smith said progress was being made with the scrap metal fire and while firefighters continued to deploy multiple master streams to quench the fire, they were able to scale back the amount of resources they had been using. 

Metal X company crews and the fire departments on scene continue to use heavy machinery to pull the piles of scrap and debris apart.  

Smith said at noon that the fire was close to being under control. He said about 15-20 fire departments with about 75 people were still at the scene. At the peak of the firefighting effort, Chief Smith said there were 30 fire departments present from four counties.  

He also updated the status of firefighters, saying the only injury reported was one firefighter who had an ankle injury. At no point did anyone suffer heat exhaustion.

The chief also noted that at no time was the Delta water supply shut off or compromised. 

The United States Federal Environmental Agency conducted air quality monitoring at multiple sites. Although there is an odor, there have been no traces of chemicals found in the air, Fulton County commissioners said. The federal agency will continue to monitor air quality throughout the night.  

The Ohio EPA also conducted air monitoring and concluded there were no harmful chemicals being released, a statement Tuesday afternoon said. 

"Ohio EPA is at the scene of the fire in Delta to support the fire department. Ohio EPA is conducting air monitoring. Real-time monitoring from hand-held devices that provide limited data has not detected any chemicals in smoke from the fire. Ohio EPA and U.S. EPA are conducting ongoing air monitoring to give a more complete picture and ensure the air quality is safe," the EPA said. 

"Ohio EPA also is in contact with the Delta public water system. The village water supply is not affected by the firefighting water runoff."

Metal X officials said the air quality testing was a precaution, and officials say there are no major concerns at this time. 

"Even though no hazardous materials are accepted at the site, company protocol includes working with regulatory agencies to conduct air quality testing in an effort to prevent any impact on human or animal health," a statement from Metal X read. 

Additionally, Ohio EPA and MetalX’s Environmental Consultant also continue to monitor air quality. Officials ask the public to be cautious and stay out of smoke, shelter in place. 

For any concerns about health, contact the Fulton County Health Department at 419-337-0915. If you are experiencing persistent health issues, you should contact your current health care provider.

Officials anticipate that roads will open up early Tuesday evening.  State Route 109 will likely remain closed into the night, however.

Village of Delta Mayor Dan Miller said the village proactively issued a boil advisory during Monday evening until water plant and processes were stabilized with the incorporation of potable water provided by the city of Wauseon through an established interconnection. The boil advisory was lifted around 11:30 p.m. Monday evening and water in the village is safe to drink and use.  Village officials will continue to provide testing for safe water quality.  For any boil advisories issued, residents should check the village of Delta website, village of Delta Facebook page and follow wtol.com.  

A statement from Metal X on Tuesday afternoon said that the fire developed in a pile of scrap metal feedstock at the shredder infeed. Typical shredder feedstock is comprised of mixed sheet metal and unprepared steel, crushed autos, light demolition scrap, and compacted appliances. The state fire marshal is investigating the cause.

"Shredder feedstock is approximately 80% recyclable metal with the remaining 20% being nonmetallic, some of which can be combustible under certain circumstances," the statement from Metal X said. 

If you want to donate bottled water/supplies to the firefighters on scene, the Fulton County chapter of the American Red Cross is handling donations. Call 567-825-3349 for more information.

MetalX CEO Danny Rifkin said, “While this is truly an unfortunate event, we are most relieved that no one was hurt and that there is no impact on the health of our employees or the community. We are grateful for the tireless efforts of the firefighters from the surrounding area that came to our aid, as well as the support from the Village and the County during this event. We particularly want to recognize our own team, many of whom have been on site since the fire was detected, and who have responded calmly and effectively as the situation has unfolded.”

Thousands of gallons of water have been used on this fire.

Viewer Brittany Stevens shared pictures of the countless trips fire crews had to make to the reservoir to get enough water to fight the fire.

Credit: Brittany Stevens
Credit: Brittany Stevens

Crews were pulled in from Monroe County, and fire departments said crews from Sand Lake, Michigan, were to arrive Tuesday morning. Sand Lake has specialized equipment that they need to extract more water. Firefighters on the scene on Tuesday morning said they were desperate for water and were trying to get it from anywhere they can.

Pike-Delta-York kept school in session today.

"Student safety is our highest priority at PDY. The District has been in contact with both the Delta Fire and Police Departments regarding the situation at MetalX and both have confirmed that it is safe for students to attend school. All schools will be open at the regular times as the boil advisory has been lifted. We will continue to communicate with emergency personnel about the situation," the school said in a statement.

Crews were on scene all night fighting the fire and plan to let it burn out over the next several days.

Photos and videos from Eric's Wandering Photography show just how massive the fire is.

The village of Delta said they are pumping water from Wauseon water lines and customers may see some discoloration. The city is offering bottled water at the Delta Village Clerk to those affected. 

The area was under a boil advisory but the advisory has since been lifted.

Credit: WTOL

Chief Smith earlier said the strategy was to put as much water on the fire as possible. Crews are shuttling in water and feeding in line from hydrants; that's why the roads are closed.

Two houses across the street from Metal X had to evacuate, according to the Wauseon Fire Department. 

Wauseon Fire Chief Rick Sluder said the size of the fire and the water supply issues were the biggest challenges. 

"We're running relay off Toledo water system," he said. "We're also using Delta's water system and those come from two different directions. Plus, we're using supply that's available on-site here. So, everything will be shut down for several amount of time." 

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