Republic Steel troubles a tale of fire and ice

Jan 10, 2014 | 04:23 PM | Corinna Petry

Tags  Republic Steel, special bar quality, fire, severe weather, plant closures, electric-arc furnace, caster, rolling mill Ted Thielens

CHICAGO — Special bar quality bar producer Republic Steel Co. has had its share of woes stemming from fire and ice, sometimes at the same time, over the past three months.

Most recently, firefighters were called Jan. 7 to extinguish a blaze at Republic’s plant in Lorain, Ohio, which started when workers used space heaters to warm up pipes frozen by the Arctic blast that swept across much of the United States.

"That was really a weather-related issue. We tried to heat the pipes and the insulation caught fire," executive vice president Ted Thielens told AMM. "We lost power for a day because of a concern about mixing water and electricity," but that section of the mill complex returned to normal operations Jan. 9. "It was a minor fire with minimal damage and no injuries."....

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