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No Injuries Reported After Small Fire At Norlite Plant In Cohoes

The Norlite facility in Cohoes, NY.
Jackie Orchard
The Norlite facility in Cohoes, NY.

The Cohoes Fire Department responded to the Norlite plant in the Albany County city Monday morning.

Authorities say a small pipe with low-grade fuel oil broke, resulting in a small fire with smoke visible at the plant. Fire Chief Joseph Fahd says the oil caught fire when it spread to hot rocks at the facility.

No injuries were reported. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has been called in to monitor the oil spill.

The Norlite plant has been the focus of public scrutiny over the past several months after it emerged the plant was burning PFAS-laden firefighting foam for the U.S. Defense Department.

In November, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation to ban such burning at the plant, which is located near the Saratoga Sites public housing project.   

Later Monday, Norlite released a statement on the fire: "This morning Norlite employees detected a small fire on site. The facility immediately implemented its contingency plan and contacted the Cohoes City Fire Department. The fire was extinguished in less than fifteen minutes. No injuries occurred, and no material left the facility. Once the fire was extinguished, facility personnel immediately notified both the Department of Environmental Conservation and Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler. The incident is under review by Norlite’s Environmental, Health and Safety, Engineering and Operations departments. The facility is working with the relevant authorities. The Norlite team wishes to thank the Cohoes Fire and Police Departments for their immediate and professional response."

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.
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