An Aug. 22 fire that caused about $50,000 of damage at SMA Plastics LLC, a plastic pipe maker in Carrollton, Ohio, has been ruled an accident. Investigators blame a mixer that overheated in a dust-filled area of the plant.
SMA, 755 N. Lisbon Ave., was formed in July 2013 by Charles McCort, who used to own Heritage Plastics next door at 861 N. Lisbon.
McCort's earlier business grew into Heritage Group and became a major manufacturer of PVC pipe and conduit. He sold the assets of Heritage Group to Atkore International Inc. for $89.4 million in September 2013. At the time, Heritage had 300 employees in four states, sales of $107 million, and was ranked 37th among pipe, profile and tubing extruders in North America by Plastics News.
SMA is a smaller operation. Carrollton Assistant Fire Chief Bill Wells said only one person was working when the fire started. Volunteer firefighters in the village of 3,200 were called to the business at 12:03 p.m. Back-up crews from four other fire departments also responded and helped put out the blaze inside the building. They were at the scene for about five hours.
“It wasn't anything big but it could have been,” Wells said. “We had it contained to the part of the plant where they mixed the plastic together to make plastic pipe and things like that. It wasn't equipment failure as much as it was the dust buildup catching fire.”
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency also was called to the scene to monitor the air but found no health concerns.
“We had some black smoke but there wasn't anything toxic,” Wells said. “We called the EPA in to be sure.”
The business makes plastic pipe for gas and water lines, he added.
SMA officials could not be reached for comment.