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Massena Vol. Fire Dept. tanker en route to fire at the Massena West Alcoa plant. Photo: Still from Youtube video by John Michaud III
Massena Vol. Fire Dept. tanker en route to fire at the Massena West Alcoa plant. Photo: Still from Youtube video by John Michaud III

Some areas still closed to investigators at Alcoa West

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State fire investigators and the Alcoa corporation are looking for the cause of a fire that broke out at the Alcoa West plant near Massena Thursday.

Alcoa spokeswoman Laurie Marr says investigators were able to start looking closely at the cast house, where the fire took place on Friday.

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Nora Flaherty
Digital Editor, News

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"There was a preliminary structural review on Friday, and we were able to determine that cleanup could begin in limited areas of the casthouse. Power was restored to limited part of the building, in the south end. And so the temporary molten metal pouring operation we had set up in the smelter has been moved back to the cast house."

Marr says operations are mostly back to normal and the plant is operating at full capacity. But figuring out what actually caused the fire might take longer, some parts of the casthouse are still off-limits to investigators because of structural integrity issues:

"We think that the fire started in a piece of machinery called a chip melter, but in terms of cause we just don’t know. The investigation will determine those details."

Marr says the company has started its own internal investigation of the fire, but that it's too soon to say how much the fire will cost Alcoa or how long the investigation will take.  

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