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SEATTLE — A large fire destroyed a manufacturing building in Seattle and prompted an effort to contain toxic chemicals. The blaze in the city's Fremont neighborhood began shortly before 1 p.m. local time (4 p.m. ET) Tuesday. Workers inside noticed smoke coming from a machine, pulled the fire alarm and attempted to contain it with an extinguisher. More than 100 firefighters fought the blaze.
The building houses two companies, Asko and Acu-Line. Asko provides metal finishing for the aerospace industry, and Acu-Line does metal etching. Both companies are considered a "large-quantity generator of hazardous waste," state Department of Ecology spokesman Larry Altose said. That means the company falls under the category of manufacturers that produce 2,200 pounds of hazardous waste a month. Asko works with acids, base, heavy metals, cyanide, halogenated organics and flammable solvents on the site, Altose said. Acu-Line operates in the basement of the building, working with ferric chloride. Inspectors found five violations last year, Altose said. Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore cautioned that anyone who walked through the runoff created by the fire fight should wash their shoes, as it has a similar makeup to household bleach.