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USA - Forging furnace explodes, sparks Golden fire

Golden, Colorado - A furnace exploded at a business in Golden this morning, sparking a fire inside an air-filtering system but causing no injuries.

Golden firefighters were called at 8:15 a.m. to Goltra Castings Co., 501 McIntyre St., said Golden spokeswoman Sabrina D'Agosta. She said smoke was coming from the building at the time.

Goltra Castings, a manufacturing company that mass produces metal fixtures, uses a "forging furnace," D'Agosta said. The furnace exploded, resulting in hot metal shavings floating into the air-filter system, where they were caught by paper filters, smoldered and burned, D'Agosta said.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation.

More than a dozen employees were inside the building when the explosion occurred. There were no injuries.

The Golden Fire Department quickly extinguished open flames within the filtering system, but dark smoke poured out of the building.

Once firefighters put out the blaze, they began ventilating smoke from the building.

No nearby homes or businesses were in danger, and none were evacuated, D'Agosta said.

According to an Environmental Protection Agency website, Goltra Castings uses or stores chemicals on the site, including phenol.

Phenol is a toxic chemical, and short-term exposure to it in the air can cause respiratory irritation, headaches and burning eyes, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

A spokesperson for Goltra could not be reached for comment.

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