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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Alcoa: Fire is under control

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MASSENA - A fire at the casthouse at the Alcoa West Plant has been declared under control, according to ab Aloca spokesperson.

Laurie Marr said firefighters remain on the scene and are battling hot spots. She said there were no hazardous materials in the area where the chip melter malfuctioned, sparking the blaze.

Alcoa told its midnight shift at the casthouse that they did not need to report for work Thursday night, and the day shift has been informed to report to the clubhouse at the Alcoa West plant Friday morning.

Alcoa officials say there were no injuries when an aluminum chip melter malfunctioned at the Alcoa West plant shortly after 3 p.m. today.

Alcoa spokesperson Laurie Marr said the cast house and the nearby extrusion building - facilities located in the center of the sprawling Alcoa plant just outside the village of Massena - were evacuated.

Heavy black smoke covered the village of Massena shortly after the fire broke out and was visible for miles outside of Massena.

Firefighters from Massena, Louisville, Brasher-Winthrop and several other departments responded to the fire scene.

Helen Morrell, Northview Drive, said she and her husband were watching television when they heard a loud boom and then their house startted shaking. She said her huband, Ron, is a volunteer firefighter, and he immediately raced out of the house to respond to the call.

Ms. Marr said were approximately 60 employees in the building when the fire broke out.

The cast house is an integral part of the Alcoa operation, where the molten metal is cast into aluminum ingots or 1,500 pound flat blocks known as sows or pigs.

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