Fostoria, OH Business Explosion, June 1978


Fostoria, Ohio (AP) --An explosion Saturday at a company that makes railroad flares damaged several buildings, sent flaming debris several blocks, touching off other fires, and injured 20 to 25 people, officials said.
The explosion at the Standard Railway Fusee Corp.
shattered windows throughout a 12-block downtown
area, the fire department said.
Fostoria City Hospital officials said between 20 and 25 persons were treated at the hospital, mostly for lacerations or smoke inhalation. Two were admitted for observation, one was transferred to another hospital and the rest were released, officials said.
The three persons hospitalized, one of whom was a fireman, were listed in satisfactory condition, said a nurse supervisor who asked not to be identified. She said she did not know the nature of their injuries.
Fire department spokesman Jim Walters said flaming debris hurled into the air by the late morning explosion touched off roof fires at several buildings. He said there were about a half dozen
"spot fires" and all were under control by early afternoon.
"The fire originated in the exhaust fan in the Fusee mixing room where chemicals, some of them highly
flammable, were being mixed," Fostoria Fire Chief Bernard Conine said. "A workman left the mixing room area and when he returned, he discovered that the fan was on fire."
"Dozens of homes and businesses in the city were severely damaged by the explosion."
"Flying, flaming debris posed the worst hazard to the surrounding buildings," Conine said. "There was a burning cardboard box found on the roof of a furniture store downtown," five or six blocks from the plant, which bore the name of the Fusee company, he added.
The extent of damage was not immediately known.
The explosion and subsequent fires broke out about 10 a.m. Several area fire departments responded to the scene.
Fostoria is a city of 16,000 population in northwest Ohio about 40 miles southeast of Toledo.
The company produces railroad flares, which burn brightly and are used for signaling.

Chronicle Telegram Elyria Ohio 1978-06-11