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Rust-Oleum employee remains in critical condition after blast, fire

April 28, 2010

WILLIAMSPORT -- A 30-year-old Waynesboro, Pa., man remained in critical condition Thursday morning at a Baltimore burn unit after he was injured during an explosion and fire at the Rust-Oleum manufacturing facility in the Interstate Industrial Park near Williamsport.

Michael Burton Jr. was airlifted to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center after the incident, which was reported at 7:18 a.m., Lt. Terry Barnes of the Williamsport Volunteer Fire Co. said Wednesday.

Burton was in critical condition Thursday morning a hospital spokeswoman said.

Barnes said Burton suffered from facial wounds.

The explosion occurred in the production area of the plant, in the chemical mixing area, and was confined to that room, Barnes said.

There was fire and smoke after the explosion, according to Barnes, the incident commander.

Barnes said a second employee experienced inhalation problems but refused treatment.

Deputy State Fire Marshal Bruce D. Bouch said in a news release that a flash fire ignited nearby combustibles. The state fire marshal's office was investigating the cause of the fire.

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Bouch estimated the fire caused more than $100,000 in damages.

Units from Williamsport, Halfway, Funkstown, Washington County Special Operations and Fairplay responded.

Rust-Oleum, based in Vernon Hills, Ill., is a subsidiary of RPM International Inc. It manufactures protective paints and coatings for home and industrial use.

The company was honored earlier this month at the Celebration of Business 2010 for marking its 35th anniversary of doing business in Washington County.

Representatives from the business declined to speak about the incident Wednesday.


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