The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

February 19, 2014

News briefs from Feb. 19, 2014

Herald staff

- — RMI employees put out titanium dust fire

HERMITAGE – Hermitage Fire Chief Robert S. Goeltz complimented employees of RMI Titanium for responding properly and quickly Tuesday to a titanium dust fire, leaving little for the responding fire departments to do.

“They had the moxie to jump right on it,” he said. “They had the right product to extinguish it. They are a very safety-conscious company.”

RMI employees were moving production equipment out of the building at Freedland Road. Neighboring industry CCL Container Corp. has bought the RMI building and plans to expand it, along with CCL’s main building on Llodio Road, and to connect the two.

“A grinder emitted sparks and they flew into a machine that had dust particles in it and the titanium ignited,” Goeltz said.

Firefighters were called at 8:41 a.m.

Special chemical extinguishing compounds are needed as water can make titanium particles explode, Goeltz said.

The fire, which was contained to machinery, filled the building with smoke and most of the employees went outside while the fire was quelled, he said.

The fire caused no structural damage and the machinery is salvageable, Goeltz said.

Farrell firefighters assisted.

Man hanged himself, deputy coroner rules

WHEATLAND – A 27-year-old Wheatland man whose body was found Friday afternoon in a wooded area off of Lee Road in Findley Township hanged himself, according to Mercer County Deputy Coroner John Libonati.

Pennsylvania State Police said Michael Kevin Warden was found at 3:42 p.m. and that no foul play was suspected. Libonati said the cause of death was asphyxiation from hanging.

A friend of Warden’s saw his car parked along the side of the road and followed tracks in the snow until he found Warden’s body in a tree, Libonati said.

Just two days before his death, Warden was charged with harassment after police said he argued with Donald Perrine, 25, and Angel Cline, 22, both of Mercer, in a parking lot along Mercer-Grove City Road. He allegedly followed the pair and continued yelling at them as they traveled along Route 258 at about 1:35 p.m.

No cause given for house fire

SHARON – No one was injured in a house fire on Quinby Street early Tuesday morning that caused extensive damage to the dining room and basement stairs, according to Sharon Fire Chief Terry Whalen.

Thomas Green, a tenant renting the two-story, wood-frame home from Harry Kennedy of Farrell, was in the process of moving out, Whalen said, and was not at home at 5:55 a.m. when the fire started.

No cause was given, but Whalen said flames were shooting out the basement side door when firefighters arrived. The weather at the time was “a real challenge” for firefighters, he said, because of the heavy snow and wind.

Firefighters from Farrell responded as part of an automatic mutual aid program, as well as McGonigle Ambulance service, Whalen said, but there were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at $44,000, he said. Both the tenant and the homeowner had insurance, he said.

Westminster hosts meeting on ALLARM

NEW WILMINGTON – Westminster College will host a public meeting on the Lawrence and Mercer Alliance for Aquatic Resources Monitoring program in Patterson Hall, Room 207, at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The meeting is being organized by Dr. Helen Boylan, Westminster associate professor of chemistry and chairman of environmental science, and students Tyler Umstead and Lance Jubic.

The agenda will include updates on the water-quality monitoring program, how to preserve stream quality in the region, and the potential impacts shale gas drilling may have on area waters.