LOWELLVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – Two men have been arrested for a fire at a Lowellville aluminum repair shop early Saturday morning. Officials say the incident luckily didn’t turn out much worse.
Geno Moore, 22, and Joshua Foor, 20, were arrested and charged with breaking and entering and aggravated arson. Foor is also charged with criminal damaging/endangering. Both are in Mahoning County Jail.
Calls came in a little after 6 a.m. for the fire at Aluminum Color Industries — located in the 300 block of W. Wood Street.
When Lowellville crews responded to a call for thick smoke coming from the building, they weren’t expecting to find people inside.
“They said that there was two men inside and that they couldn’t get out,” Lowellville Fire Chief Al Boggia said. “We were working to get them out, then she told me that they came out.”
Those two men, Moore and Foor, are now being investigated for starting the fire.
“They did apprehend two suspects that they believe were involved in this arson,” Lowellville Police Chief Rick Alli said.
Lowellville firefighters didn’t just find people inside. They also came across roughly 5,000 gallons of unknown chemicals.
So they called in the Mahoning County Hazmat Team and the EPA.
“After further research, we found that the chemicals were acids,” Chief Stephen Szekely of the Mahoning County Hazmat Team said. “We had hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid.”
Crews were able to put out the fire before it spread to those containers of acid.
The Hazmat Team and EPA determined that the fire seems to have no environmental impact on the area.
All agencies say they got lucky.
“This had the very potential of being a very bad incident if those acids would have been caught on fire,” Szekely said. “You would have saw a much larger evacuation and a lot more environmental damage.”
“We have no loss of life,” Alli said. “Everything here is pure property damage. And that’s one of the things we’re thankful for here in Lowellville.”