Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fire at Lockheed Martin plant in Oldsmar drew big response, but no one was injured

OLDSMAR — A thick column of black smoke shot from the roof of the Lockheed Martin plant on Tampa Road on Tuesday afternoon. It caught the attention of residents throughout Oldsmar, including Mayor Jim Ronecker, who drove to the scene.

But, inside, engineer Joseph Broadbent didn't know about the blaze until he got a call from his wife.

"You've got to get out of there," she told him. "It's on fire."

Soon after, the fire alarm started to blare.

Smoke and flames were first reported about 1:40 p.m, authorities said. The fire scorched part of the roof at the plant at 3655 Tampa Road. Crews from Oldsmar and Safety Harbor quickly put out the flames.

Roughly 40 emergency units, from Tarpon Springs to Treasure Island, headed to the defense contractor's plant. As a precaution, the emergency was upgraded to a hazardous materials call, said Oldsmar Fire Chief Dean O'Nale.

"We know they have solvents, cleaners and acids," he said.

The large volume of units, which included supervisors, was a "typical response" for a fire and hazardous material call at a big industrial plant, O'Nale said.

More than 500 employees were evacuated, and no one was injured. For about an hour, hundreds of Lockheed Martin workers, most in blue coats, stood on the lawn in front of the plant. Around 2:45, they began filing back inside.

After the fire was out, firefighters made sure that no flames had intruded into the building from the roof, O'Nale said.

Hazardous materials teams then surveyed the site to make sure there were no toxic chemicals in water runoff from the firefighting efforts. By around 3 p.m., those teams said the water was clear.

The fire started on the building's roof, the chief said. That section of roof was above a portion of the building that contained parts and computer equipment and was mostly used for storage.

Fire officials didn't have a damage estimate by early Tuesday evening, but O'Nale said the damage appeared to be contained to the roof area. Inside, there was mainly water damage.

Lockheed Martin is one of the world's biggest defense contractors, a global aerospace, defense and security company. It has two locations in Pinellas County — an aeronautics facility in Pinellas Park, and a "tactical operations" plant on the Tampa Road east of McMullen-Booth Road in Oldsmar.

Curt Engel, general manager of the plant, said all the employees were safely evacuated. He said the plant does electronics assembly for the U.S. Defense Department, but he declined to be more specific.

Times staff writers Peter Jamison and Diane Steinle contributed to this report. Mike Brassfield can be reached at brassfield@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4151.

Fire at Lockheed Martin plant in Oldsmar drew big response, but no one was injured 04/24/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 10:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Storm routs Cleveland

    Storm

    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  2. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies on Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  3. Rowdies shut out Charleston

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  4. 13-year-old Janessa's father holds memorial service at Rogers Middle School

    Crime

    RIVERVIEW — About 100 people sat in the tile-floored multipurpose room Saturday at Rodgers Middle School where Janessa Shannon once sat as a student.

    A mourner embraces Nahshon Shannon after the memorial service for Nahshon’s daughter, Janessa, Saturday at Rodgers Middle School in Riverview.
  5. Trump: Aircraft carrier a symbol of America's might (w/video)

    Politics

    NORFOLK, Va. — With praise and a blessing for the military, President Donald Trump helped hand over the USS Gerald R. Ford to the Navy on Saturday and said the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier will send a "100,000-ton message to the world" about America's military might when it is ultimately deployed.

    President Donald Trump commissions the USS Gerald R. Ford on Saturday in Norfolk, Va.