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UPDATE: Fire at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor burns up a trailer

UPDATE: Fire at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor burns up a trailer

The Burns Harbor Fire Department responded Monday night to a reported first alarm fire at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor, Fire Chief William Arney said.

It was the second incident at the steel mill in Porter County this month.

A truck with Burns Harbor firefighters went to assist ArcelorMittal’s house fire department at about 8:30 p.m. Monday, Arney said.

The firefighters left the scene within a few hours.

ArcelorMittal spokeswoman Mary Beth Holdford said no one was hurt and operations were not disrupted.

"Around 9 p.m. last evening at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor, casting conditions allowed iron to go to the slag pit which resulted in a minor eruption," she said. "There were no injuries and the facility continues normal operation."

United Steelworkers District 7 Director Mike Millsap said there was a slag pit explosion at the mill.

"I'm told nobody got hurt, a trailer burned up and they are investigating," Millsap said.

A video that went viral late Monday night showed an apparent explosion. A self-identified truck driver said he took the video, which showed towering flames and thick black smoke rising up from the mill on the Lake Michigan lakeshore. A bright light flashes and sparks shower as flames rage in the background.

“Something just blew up here at the mill,” the man taking the video narrates. “Oh yeah, our day might be done for the day. Our day might be over, fellas.”

The same steel mill sustained a “high voltage power interruption” that caused massive flaring on Feb. 5. A firefighter was injured while working to control the fire.

ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor spilled 10,000 gallons of ammonia liquor as a result of that brief power outage, which was cleaned up within a few days.


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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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