Chattanooga, TN – Fire in cotton bales at ADM plant contained with help from sprinkler system

Chattanooga firefighters battled a fire in South Chattanooga at ADM Southern Cellulose Products at 103 W. 45th Street on Thursday. Chattanooga Fire Department spokesman Bruce Garner says though there was only light smoke visible from the outside, once inside the large building, they could see dozens of cotton bales that were on fire.

CFD says the company had recently repaired the sprinkler system in the building and it activated properly, which helped to keep the fire contained. A total of 13 fire companies responded to this fire. The fire was brought under control in 15 to 20 minutes.

No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire will be ruled accidental.  Company executives told firefighters that the bales are held together by wire, and they believe a wire on one of the bales might have created a spark against the concrete while being moved by a forklift. When the spark hit the cotton, a fire broke out.  About 200 bales of cotton were involved in the fire.  The dollar loss was estimated at $30,000.

The building itself was not damaged and company executives said the fire will have minimal impact on its operation.

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