Some Brea residents were forced out of their homes Thursday as firefighters and a hazardous materials company dealt with a two-alarm fire at an aerospace manufacturing firm that unleashed dangerous materials, authorities said.
The fire was reported at 2:53 a.m. at Bristol Industries, 630 E. Lambert Road, according to a dispatcher at Metro Cities Fire Dispatch in Orange County.
The origin of the fire was under investigation, but much of the damage was contained and minimized by the company’s sprinkler system and other safeguards, said Brea-Fullerton Fire Dept. Division Chief Chris Nigg.
The sprinklers “kept the fire in check for us to ultimately put it out” in about an hour, Nigg said. “The fire was knocked down relatively quickly once we determined the hazmat issue.”
The company manufactures aerospace metals, and the fire started in plastic tanks where a “caustic soap is used to clean the metals,” Nigg said.
“The biggest concern we had was containing the runoff,” Nigg said.
No one was injured and “there was no direct threat to the public,” he said.
Lambert Road was closed in both directions between State College Boulevard and Cliffwood Avenue until just before 7 a.m. The pedestrian trail between State College and Cliffwood was closed a little while longer.
Residents of a nearby apartment complex were allowed back into their homes, as well, by 7:30 a.m., Nigg said. They had been directed to the Brea Community Center while firefighters battled the blaze, which caused “extensive smoke and heat damage” inside the building, Nigg said.