At 5:16 a.m. on November 5, 2023, the Sidney Department of Fire & Emergency Services responded to a call at Hexa America Inc., located at 1150 S. Vandemark Road, reporting a structure fire with an explosion.
Upon arrival, first responders encountered a large 3-story industrial building engulfed in heavy smoke. Plant personnel informed the responding crews that a machine inside the building was on fire. Swift action by the firefighters led to a successful containment and quick knockdown of the fire. Fortunately, the main body of fire was isolated to the machine, with no further damage to other machines or the building structure.
The estimated property loss due to the fire is approximately $100,000.
In response to the incident, a box alarm was activated, summoning all off-duty Sidney firefighters, along with assistance from the Anna Fire Department, Lockington Fire Department, a medic unit from Piqua Fire Department, and a medic unit from Port Jefferson Emergency Medical Service. AES Power and Center Point were also called to the scene.
We are relieved to report that no injuries were sustained by firefighters, police officers, or occupants of the building.
Sidney Police played a critical role in ensuring the safety of the building's occupants, confirming their evacuation, and managing traffic control in the area. The road was closed for an extended period of time to facilitate firefighting efforts.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the Sidney Fire Department's investigation unit.
In a separate incident on November 4, 2023, at 2056, first responders were dispatched to Ring Container Technologies at 603 Oak Ave. This call was in response to a vehicle striking a natural gas line.
Upon arrival, the crew identified a 2-inch high-pressure gas line that supplies the business had been severed. Evacuations were immediately initiated for the nearby residents and the business. Center Point was contacted for assistance, along with Sidney Shelby County Transit to provide shelter for the evacuated citizens. The Sidney Police Department and the City Street Department aided in securing the area.
Crews remained on standby until the gas line was secured. To ensure continued emergency response to the rest of the city, six off-duty firefighters were called in to staff the station.
In this incident, there were no injuries reported to the driver of the vehicle, firefighters, police officers, plant personnel, or the citizens in the affected area. Center Point confirmed that the broken gas line did not impact any residential properties. Only the business was affected and plant personnel assured that they could resume normal operations.
Eric P. Barhorst, Asst. Chief