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UPDATE: Fire at Superior Industries does little damage

City of Morris firefighters work to extinguish a fire that broke out Thursday morning in a filtration system at Superior Industries.1 / 3
Morris firefighters quickly controlled a fire in a filtration system at Superior Industries on Thursday morning.2 / 3
Morris firefighters hose down filters that caught fire in a welding filtration system Thursday morning at Superior Industries.3 / 3

An exterior filter system for welding smoke caught fire at Superior Industries Thursday morning.

Morris Fire Chief Doug Storck said firefighters received the call at about 10:45 a.m.

Flames shot from the filter unit located outside a building, but once the filters were removed, the fire was snuffed out relatively quickly, Storck said.

Workers in the building were evacuated and the building filled with smoke, but the fire was contained to the filter system and employees were on the job within an hour, Storck said.

"The building's OK, the people are OK and they're back to work," Storck said. "It was a good time of the day, so people noticed it right away and got help there."

Storck said firefighters used about 700 gallons of water to extinguish the fire, he said.

Scott Arndt, Human Resources Director for Superior, said the filtration system was tested and is operable. It will be shut down until new filters can be installed. The system uses 20 filters to clean the exhaust before its released into the atmosphere.

"Luckily, damages were next to nothing," said Arndt, who added that it was determined a spark ignited the paper-based filters.

The filtration system is outside Superior's components building, where parts for the company's products are manufactured, Arndt said.

The company that installed the system told company officials that a "spark trap" that catches hot or flaming material before they reach the filters wasn't necessary because of the long length of ductwork from the suction point to the filters, Arndt said.

A spark trap will be installed on Superior's system, and the installation company is sending representatives to Superior to check out the system, he said.