, Muskogee, OK

October 18, 2012

Firefighters battle blaze at glass plant

— Firefighters with the Muskogee Fire Department battled a fire at the Owens-Illinois glass container plant.

Capt. Gordon Lee said a hole in a furnace was leaking molten glass into a 20-by-40-foot pit.

“We’re trying to close off the hole so it closes itself up,” Lee said. “(The furnaces) are huge. They hold several tons of molten glass.”

Lee estimated the department arrived at O-I about 3:30 p.m., and said the hole in the furnace was expected to be closed Thursday night.  

“It will take a while to put out,” Lee said. “You can spray water on the molten glass, but it just crystallizes the top and it’s still all red underneath.

Production continued at the plant while firefighters sprayed water on the liquid glass, Lee said.