Company whose warehouse burned Wednesday has long history with O - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Company whose warehouse burned Wednesday has long history with OSHA

Updated:
INDIANAPOLIS - A warehouse fire early Wednesday morning was only the latest problem for Indianapolis Drum.

Firefighters were called to the Fountain Square facility in the 3500 block of Terrace Avenue near Sherman Avenue and Prospect Street. It took 80 firefighters to get the three-alarm blaze under control. The all-clear was issued around 12:30 that afternoon.

Indy Drum was established in 1965 and work to clean and refurbish 55 gallon drums and 13 Investigates discovered it has a history of safety problems -- some of them serious.

13 Investigates found dozens of pages of safety orders and penalty notifications from OSHA and the Indiana Department of Labor. While fire investigators confirmed to Eyewitness News no hazardous chemicals were in the building at the time of Wednesday's fire, the old reports show chemicals have been a big concern in the past.

In 2011, the Indiana Department of Labor cited Indianapolis Drum for exposing workers to conditions that were "causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm."

For example,
--Workers were exposed to hazardous chemicals that were splattering, boiling and bubbling.
--Testing found some of the same chemicals in the employee break room on surfaces near food.
--Inspectors found chemicals were not properly identified and stored.
--Workers lacked proper safety equipment.

In the past four years, OSHA cited the company for 76 separate violations - 33 of them considered serious, and some of those classified as violations that were repeated and willful. As a result, state regulators levied more than $300,000 in fines. Several of those fines actually dealt with fire hazards, like a heat gun that shorted and sparked near flammable chemicals.

At last check, the cause of Wednesday's fire was still undetermined but 13 Investigates will stay on the case until you get you answers.

Meanwhile, if you have concerns about companies that handle hazardous materials in your neighborhood, you can check the EPA's map here.
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