December 20, 2014

Elyria
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City mandates cleanups for Lorain Stoveworks sites

LORAIN — Cleanup of what a city Health Department official said are illegally dumped materials has been ordered at the Eastern and Western Stoveworks.

Fleming Mosely, the department’s director of environmental health, wrote in letters Thursday to the property owners that construction and demolition debris were illegally dumped at the Western Stoveworks and mixed with municipal solid waste. Mosely wrote that the landfill must be disposed of at an “appropriate” disposal facility.

The Western Stoveworks, at West 13th Street and Long Avenue, is owned by J. Ross Haffey of Lorain Properties Co. LLP.

Haffey couldn’t be reached Tuesday.

The Eastern Stoveworks at West 12th Street and Long Avenue contained construction debris mixed with “clean hard fill materials” that need to be removed, Mosely wrote to property owner Don Buchs of All American Demolition Corp.

Buchs didn’t return a call Tuesday.

The Stoveworks are a former stove-making plant that opened in 1895 as the National Vapor Stove Co., according to Frank Sipkovsky, a member of the board of trustees of the Black River Historical Society and former head of the society. The company closed in the 1950s.

In 1986, a spectacular fire occurred at the site. The Fire Department had staged a “controlled burn” at the site to train fire cadets in firefighting, said former Fire Chief Phil Dore.

Oil-soaked floors that firefighters weren’t aware of caused a massive conflagration. No one was hurt in the blaze.

“Just my feelings,” Dore said.

Mosely’s findings were based on a Sept. 4 inspection. Mosely said he requested a written response detailing the cleanup be made by next week.

The inspections were prompted by a complaint to Lorain officials by Councilman Dennis Flores, D-2nd Ward, whose ward includes the properties. Flores said Tuesday he contacted the city after seeing large mounds of debris.

In addition to the debris, Flores said he’s also concerned that holes in the fence around the properties might lead to trespassing or illegal dumping.

“I don’t know what we can do with the area,” Flores said.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.