Ohio State Fire Marshal: Oakwood factory fire was not ‘the result of a criminal act’

(Source: Lia Louthan)
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 10:59 AM EST
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OAKWOOD VILLAGE, Ohio (WOIO) - The Ohio State Fire Marshal said Wednesday the cause of the Feb. 20 building fire and explosion at I Schumann & Co. was not the result of a criminal act.

Andy Ellinger, with the Ohio Department of Commerce, said the exact cause of the blaze remains under investigation; however, it is believed to have started in or around furnace No. 5.

Furnace experts in the mechanical and electrical fields are assisting in the investigation, said Ellinger.

Multiple fire departments responded to the 22500 block of Alexander Rd. in Oakwood Village around 2:15 p.m. on Feb. 20.

One worker, Steven Mullins, 46, of North Ridgeville, was killed in the blast.

Mullins worked at the company for nearly 30 years.

Steven Mullins
Steven Mullins((Souce: I Schumann & Co))

12 other workers were transported to area hospitals.

At last check, three remained hospitalized. Their names and conditions have not been released.

“We continue to work alongside the authorities in their investigation of the accident at our facility. We are still in the initial phases of this investigation and expect it will still be some time before we have clarity on the status of our facility, which is mostly inaccessible at this time. As such, operations will remain closed as the investigation proceeds and we consider options for our future,” said I Schumann & Co. in a statement.

Oakwood fire
Oakwood fire(Source: Lia Louthan)

Several days after the explosion, five people of CTEH, a consulting firm that provides services including “environmental data collection, and management,” were killed in a plane crash in Little Rock, AK.

Officials said they were on their way to the explosion site in Oakwood Village.

The cause of the plane crash remains under investigation.