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Illinois Metalcaster Damaged by Fire

May 14, 2012
Extensive damage in pattern-storage area of 150-year-old Westwick Foundry

According to local news reports, the Westwick Foundry in Galena, IL, was badly damaged by fire on Tuesday, May 8. The ductile iron foundry was built more than 150 years ago and the operations are arranged in several adjoining structures, only some of which were damaged.

None of the estimated 15 workers on the scene were harmed, though one fireman suffered an injury in the effort to extinguish the flames.

“There were no major injuries and we have not determined the cause,” Galena Fire Department chief Mike Simmons stated. “The state fire marshal has been called. The cause is up in the air until they (inspectors) decide.”

Simmons indicated the fire started in an area used to grind finished castings and then spread to a pattern storage area, where the damage was extensive. Galena City Administrator Mark Moran told local reporters that the fire “did not affect the entire building, so they may be able to still operate on some level.”

The fire was so substantial that crews from neighboring cities were called to help the Galena Fire Department battle the flames.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)