I-Team: Video shows raging fire and mystery at Hopkins Airport


CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team has uncovered video of a raging fire on the airfield at Hopkins Airport.

A report shows, weeks ago, the fire caused nearly a million dollars in damage to a top piece of snow removal equipment.

But the reason why it happened is still a mystery.

Video just released to the I-Team shows crews clearing snow on the runways with black smoke billowing into the sky.

Fire erupted with a piece of equipment that can plow snow, sweep snow with big brooms and blow away snow all at once.

A union leader told us no one got hurt, but the fire left workers concerned.

Brian Beyer with Laborers Local 860 said, “We supervise the clearing of the runways.”

He added, “Our members want to make sure that the travelling public and the employees they’re supervising are safe operating these pieces of equipment.”

So why did a crown jewel of airport snow removal burst into flames? A report shows the damage valued at $825,000.

An official with the manufacturer told the I-Team, the company is still looking into the case. He said, “We have some ideas, nothing definite.”

The official report says the fire started in the engine area, but that report also mentions a “running gear” and “wheel area” along with kerosene and diesel.

After getting contacted by the I-Team, city councilmen Mike Polensek and Brian Kazy both began asking questions of their own.

Polensek said, “So often we have to learn things from FOX 8.”

He added, “The maintenance of the apparatus, this is an international airport. And, as we all know, air traffic is critical to the viability of this city and local businesses.”

A few years ago, the city came under fire for issues with clearing snow on the runways. The city even got fined by the Feds. Since then, Hopkins Airport has done a lot to improve the snow clearing operations.

But, now this.

An airport spokeswoman confirms, the cause of the fire remains under investigation. She added, it is not clear yet if the equipment is a total loss.


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