TELL CITY, Ind. (WEHT) – Waupaca Foundry officials are assessing the extent of damage from the fire at its Tell City location.
Officials say the plant was evacuated and there were no injuries during the incident. Officials say mutual aid from five fire and emergency units responded and the fire was under control by 10 p.m. Spokespeople for the company say the plant is currently in the process of safely shutting down.
“Our primary concern was employee safety and appreciate the response from the Tell City Volunteer Fire Department and emergency crews for their rapid response. They always go above and beyond,” said Cody Rhodes-Dawson, plant manager. “We are cleared to return to the plant to assess needed repairs and production status.”
A press release says the fire started in the melt center of the foundry, which houses two cupola furnaces responsible for melting recycled and native metals to create gray and ductile iron castings at the plant. Foundry officials estimate one cupola will be restored to production in several days and repairs necessary on the second cupola are under evaluation.
Officials say the majority of plant employees are reporting to work in select areas of the plant as of January 5. Officials note the plant was built in 1997 with recent expansions to accommodate robotics and additional automation in its core room.
Officials tell us engineering and maintenance teams will be evaluating the damage January 5 to formulate a plan for repair. Officials expect to have this assessment completed within the next 24 hours.