Metal Fire Causes Concern Tuesday Morning

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A small fire at an industrial plant in Verdi caused quite a scare this morning because what was burning was a pile of titanium.

The fire behind the Viking Metallurgical plant started at about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning and briefly forced the closure of U.S. 40 through Verdi.

That's because firefighters were concerned about toxic fumes, however no homes or other businesses in the area were evacuated.

Still, with a metal like titanium, firefighters had some special concerns.

"It's a little hard to start, but once it gets going it's a little hard to put out, you can't use water, you have to use dry chem or sand or something else to mix with it and basically cut off the oxygen supply and snuff it out that way," said one firefighter.

No one was hurt but paramedics did check a few plant employees for smoke inhalation.

So far, no word on what started the fire.