Fire marshal says static & acetone started plant fire, IOSHA investigating


State investigators say static electricity from fiberglass caught a bucket of acetone on fire, causing last night's big fire at Charleston Corporation near Bremen.


The fire marshal ruled the blaze at Charleston Corporation "accidental"and determined, through interviews with employees, nothing criminal happened.

However, it appears the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration warned the plant something like this could happen.

In 2012 IOSHA fined Charleston Corporation for what it called three "serious violations." -- One of those saying the company did not take adequate precautions against the ignition of flammable vapors.

An Indiana Department of Labor inspector found a 55 gallon drum of acetone was not grounded.

IOSHA opened a new investigation into the plant yesterday after the explosion and fire happened.

We're told an investigator is expected to arrive on scene very soon.

No formal word from them yet on the findings of their investigation.

The plant CEO tells us three employees were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Two were treated and released last night. The third is still at Memorial in South Bend at last check, but expected to make a full recovery.

The plant is back open today. The owner told us yesterday all 250 people working at the 6 buildings here still have jobs.

We've put two calls in to Charleston Corporation's CEO today for reaction to the fire marshal's findings that this fire started when static electricity from fiberglass ignited a bucket of acetone.

We're still waiting to hear back. We hope to have his reaction for you tonight at 5 and 6.

Viewer Rick Fields sent us this video near the scene:

VIDEO: Massive fire at fiberglass plant in Marshall County
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