The Suburbanite
  • Substation at RTI Alloys burns, produces huge smoke plume

  • An electrical fire at RTI Alloys in southeast Canton produced a huge smoke plume seen in various parts of Stark County.

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  • A Sunday morning fire at an electrical substation created a huge dark smoke plume which was visible in various parts of Stark County.
    The electrical substation and transformer is on the RTI Alloys plant site at 1935 Warner Rd. SE. The substation receives power from American Electric Power to serve the plant.
    “Somehow something shorted somewhere in it,” said Capt. Arvin Eller of the city Fire Department which responded at about 9:45 a.m. Sunday. “It started a fire. They are not sure what ignited it.”
    The fire caused an estimated $1 million in damage to substation and transformer equipment. There also was damage to electrical equipment inside the plant, according to Eller.
    An amateur airplane pilot, Timothy Newell of Pike Township, saw the smoke plume and fire while flying from the Carrollton area.
    “That is what attracted us to it,” said Newell, who took photographs of the fire while flying overhead. “We could see it from the Carrollton area. It certainly was unusual.”
    RTI Alloys personnel inside the plant Sunday afternoon referred questions to the company’s corporate headquarters in the Warren area. Corporate officials are to make a statement today.
    Because the substation only serves the plant, there was not any power outages to the surrounding neighborhoods.
    “The most anybody would have experienced was a flicker of lights,” Eller said. “The feed into there was going into a private (line). It is a dead-end line into that plant.”
    Power was temporarily disconnected to the facility, however.
    “We de-energized the transmission line to the customer only,” Shelly Clark, a public relations officer for American Electric Power said. “We had to de-energize to they could make the equipment repairs.”

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