COLUMBIA HEIGHTS, Minn. — Authorities say no one was hurt when a small melting machine exploded at a metal casting company in a northern Minneapolis suburb.

Columbia Heights Fire Chief Gary Gorman says the machine at Invest Cast Inc. had molten metal in it when an apparent mechanical problem caused it to explode early Thursday afternoon. Some of the molten metal flew and started pallets and cardboard boxes on fire.

Gorman says firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire, and there was no chemical leak.

Employees were evacuated but have since returned to the building.

Firefighters from St. Anthony and Fridley assisted.