CHICAGO A fire at Aleris
International Inc.s Richmond, Va., facility has halted
production, and it isnt immediately clear when full
operations might resume, a company spokesman told AMM
It also was unclear April 25
whether, or to what extent, customers might be impacted, the
spokesman said. While finishing operations are likely to resume
April 26, it isnt yet certain when production might start
up again, he added.
"We will do everything we can to
minimize the impact on customers, if there is any," he said.
"As we progress through the recovery and investigation process,
it will become more clear when additional operations may resume
and when we can return to full production capacity."
The blaze broke out at 4:40 p.m.
local time April 24, and given the location of the fire in a
four- to five-story tower and potential chemical reactions it
was decided to let the fire burn itself out, a process that
lasted "well into the night," the Beachwood, Ohio-based
aluminum companys spokesman said.
The tower is part of the
production process at the Richmond plant and is used as
aluminum pellet is converted into sheet, he said.
The Richmond facility produces
3025 aluminum sheet from recycled material, which is then used
to make such products as gutters, downspouts and aluminum
siding, according to Aleris website.
The facility normally operates
24 hours a day five days a week and employs roughly 100 people,
the spokesman said. Approximately 30 people were on site when
the fire broke out, he said, noting that all were evacuated and
accounted for with no injuries.
It is too early to say what the
extent of the damages to the facility and what the cost to
repair them might be, the spokesman said. Thats in part
because while the fire has died out, investigators are making
sure there are no "hot spots" before they proceed with a closer
examination of what might have caused the blaze and what the
impact on operations might be, he added.
Local first responders and
Aleris own security team responded to the blaze within
minutes of it being noticed, the spokesman said.