A furnace fire shut down most of Owens-Illinois (Brockway) at 2401 Old Shawnee Road in Muskogee early this morning, according to Fire Marshal Ray Bob Daniels.
The fire department received the call of a furnace fire at 12:31 a.m., Daniels said.
“Shortly after arrival, the retaining wall collapsed, letting molten glass out of the area,” he said. “It covered numerous machines, large electric motors and numerous other areas in that part of the building.”
The building was evacuated and no one was hurt.
The fire and its resulting carnage did between $2 million and $2.5 million in damage to the plant.
Unconfirmed reports from employees have said that all five of the plant’s glass machines are non-operational for an undetermined amount of time.
Representatives from O-I corporate have not yet returned calls for comment.
UPDATE, 8:44 A.M.: Beth Peery, Communications Manager for North America with O-I, said she could confirm that the plant had a “furnace leak” and that the plant did shut down and evacuate. More information is coming.