Non-working hydrants created obstacle to fighting fire at vacant Trumbull County steel mill

Local News

CHAMPION, Ohio (WKBN) – A big fire broke out at a vacant steel mill in Trumbull County, but when firefighters got there, they realized almost none of the hydrants were working.

The Warren Township Fire Department responded to fire at Warren Steel Holdings on Mahoning Avenue started a little after 2 a.m. Wednesday. The building hasn’t been used in years.

According to Warren Twp. Fire Chief Joe Natali, the fire was fully engulfed upon arrival. They aren’t sure when the fire started, but they do know that no one was injured.

“When we got here, it was fully involved, so we really couldn’t tell you exactly where it started. I’ll just tell you that it was one of the last buildings, the administration building they have back there,” Chief Natali said.

There was only one working fire hydrant nearby. The fire chief said the others were shut off in 2015.

Firefighters had to run about 1,500 feet of hoses, the length of about three football fields, to get water from the one working hydrant on Mahoning Avenue to the fire.

The chief said it took three to four hours to clean up those hoses and six hours to put out the fire. If the hydrants closer to the building had been working, this could’ve been done much sooner.

“We probably could have got a handle on it a lot quicker if the hydrants would have been working ’cause we had multiple hydrants right by the building,” Chief Natali said.

Chief Natali said they received help from at least six different fire departments.

The fire is still under investigation by the U.S. Fire Marshalls.

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