An oven malfunction caused the Tuesday evacuation of a business in Ottawa’s industrial park, an investigation showed. 

A fire inside Ernest-Spencer Custom Coating, 1510 N. Davis Ave., Ottawa, was caused by paint build-up inside one of the business’ ovens, Jeff Carner, Ottawa fire chief said. The fire broke out shortly before 9 a.m. Tuesday at the business in Ottawa’s industrial park.  

“The cause was determined to be the material that was inside the oven. It had an excessive amount of paint build-up,” Carner said. “As a result, the material that was being burnt off was actually what ignited and what started the fire.”  

Ottawa firefighters responded quickly, and the fire was contained to the interior of the burn-off oven, the chief said. After an investigation, the estimated cost of the damage was $5,000, Carner said. 

The daily operations of the business were brought to a halt Tuesday. About 20 employees were fully evacuated before the emergency crews’ arrival, and no injuries were reported. The employees looked on Tuesday morning as fire crews worked to extinguish the small fire. The doors to the 45,000-square-foot building were opened to allow smoke out. 

“As soon as we evacuated all the smoke and conducted some air monitoring, they were allowed to return to work,” Carner said. A smell of smoke and burnt metal filled the air around the area Tuesday, but Carner said the smoke was not any more toxic than any other smoke.  

Ernest-Spencer is a powder coating and finishing facility that electrostatically applies a powder coat to metals, such as household appliances, aluminium extrusions, and automobile and bicycle parts, to prevent corrosion and rust. Powder coating is used as a more durable and long-lasting alternative to paint, according to the business’ website. High-temperature ovens are used to bake the metals to ensure the powder coat adheres properly.