(Lake County) – Mentor firefighters battled a huge blaze the Metal Seal Precision Company on Corporate Road, near Tyler Boulevard.

Thick columns of grey-blue smoke poured into the air, and could be seen in downtown Cleveland.

Mentor Fire Battalion Chief Kevin Edmond told Newsradio WTAM 1100, the blaze began around 10 this morning when oil caught fire inside the machine shop.

He said the company’s 200 workers quickly evacuated. Employees at businesses within a mile or the blaze were instructed to evacuate as well.

Edmond said flames were jumping through the roof when the first responders arrived, and there were a few small explosions when 55 gallon drums of hydraulic oil ignited.

Fire crews from neighboring department, and from as far away has Highland Hills were called in to assist. Smoke began to dissipate around 1:30 in the afternoon.

Chief Kevin Edmond

Edmond explained that a damage estimate will come later, as their investigation continues. There are reports Metal Seal Precision had hit with federal safety violations earlier this year.

 Get breaking news sent to your mobile phone. Text "news" to 21095. 

(Copyright © 2014 by Clear Channel, all rights reserved.)

(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)