Argon, not water, puts out Mound House fire

MOUND HOUSE (AP) - A fire at a plant in Mound House didn't get the usual water-hosing - crews say it took the chemical argon to put out the flames.

Bob Kielty of the Central Lyon County fire district says nobody was injured when the fire broke out about 4 a.m. Friday at the Kemet plant in Mound House. The company produces a metal called tantalum, which is used in electronics.

Kielty says workers were reducing solid sodium into tantalum when some of the sodium got out of a boiler and started a fire.

Officials say about 15 employees evacuated, and a built-in system sent argon into the room.

The argon removes oxygen that feeds fires.

Kielty says fire crews are trained not to douse sodium with water, which would make the flames worse.


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