Crews fighting fire at former Atlas foundry in Tacoma

Staff writerJuly 25, 2013 

Tacoma firefighters had contained but were still battling a blaze at the Bradken foundry in the Nalley Valley late Thursday night after the roof of a building collapsed onto a hot casting operation and ignited, Tacoma Fire spokesman Joe Meinecke said.

No one had been injured.

What caused to roof to fall in the first place had not been determined, Meinecke said.

Roughly 40 firefighters worked to put out the 50-by-50 foot blaze that started just after 6 p.m.

As of about 9:30 p.m. they expected to wait several hours to let molten metal cool and the roof debris burn away in order to safely finish their attack.

The fire happened at the same facility, in the 3000 block of South Wilkeson Street, where a propane explosion killed tanker truck driver Charles McDonald as he was delivering to the factory in 2007.

Meinecke said crews were not concerned about a possible explosion Thursday.

The state fined Atlas Castings & Technology $19,200 after the 2007 blast.

Bradken acquired Atlas when it purchased its parent company in 2008.

State officials found that before the 2007 explosion, Atlas workers repaired the foundry’s damaged propane gas hose using fasteners to attach the nozzle that weren’t designed to withstand the pressure of the propane gas.

The Tacoma Fire Department found that a hose popped off the driver’s truck as he was transferring propane that day, pumping propane into the air and ultimately sparking a massive fireball.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268


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