Early Morning Smokey Fire Damages Purecoat Plating Plant on Hittinger

Photo: The Purecoat North site

An early morning two alarm fire involving chemicals used in the plating process occurred at the Purecoat North facility adjacent Belmont High School property at 39 Hittinger St. on Friday, May 28.

Belmont Fire Chief Divid Frizzell said in a press release that a call was received by Belmont Fire from Purecoat’s monitoring company at 12:51 a.m. reporting a fire alarm activation at the location. All on-duty Belmont personnel and apparatus responded. 

Upon arrival there was a large amount of black smoke coming from the building, involving equipment, chemicals and storage vessels used in the plating process. Due to the nature of the chemicals at the site – that can include solvents such as:

  • Benzene
  • TZE
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Methylene chloride
  • Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene)

a second alarm was transmitted which brought local aid from Arlington, Cambridge, and Watertown to the fire while Waltham Fire covered one of Belmont’s stations. 

The fire was brought under control in about 30 minutes. The Massachusetts District 2 Hazmat Team had a Tier 1 response to the location to check for hazardous materials. They found the chemicals were contained inside the protective barriers within the building. 

The building was unoccupied at the time of the fire and there were no injuries to firefighters. The cause of the fire is under investigation and a dollar loss has not been established.

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