More than 40 Tacoma fire fighters from 10 stations responded to a reported commercial structure fire at Atlas Foundry at approximately 6:15 p.m. Thursday. Fire fighters arrived to find a portion of the roof above a molten metal castings operation collapsed onto the hot material and caught fire. All employees were able to escape the building without harm, according to Tacoma Fire spokesperson Joe Meinecke. The building is located at 3021 S. Wilkeson St. As of late Thursday night, fire fighters planned to allow the collapsed roofing material to burn off and the molten metal to cool down before final extinguishment. It was expected to take several hours before the fire was fully put out.
UPDATE — Fri., July 26 @ 10 a.m. | Tacoma Fire Department officials report the following:
Tacoma firefighters remain on the scene of the fire at the foundry. At approximately 6:15 p.m. last night, employees reported hearing a loud crack from above and saw one of the roof truss members had split. They began to evacuate the area when suddenly a portion of the roof collapsed into a “pit” area where excess metal is poured into sand to cool. The molten metal quickly ignited the roofing materials, causing a large fire within the expansive fabrication facility. Given the additional collapse danger of the structure, a defensive operational strategy was implemented. Overnight, crews monitored the fire and controlled flare-ups as the roofing material continued to burn itself down and the slag material cooled. The fire is under control, but hot spots remain in the debris pile. Heavy equipment will be brought in to remove the debris pile so crews can extinguish the remaining hot spots. The cause of the roof collapse continues to be under investigation.