Rockingham, NC – Sprinkler system extinguishes plastics fire at packaging manufacturer

Firefighters didn’t have much fighting to do when they responded to an alarm at Direct Pack East late Wednesday night. Several bags of ground-up plastic caught fire at the manufacturing plant in the former Trane building on Airport Road, according to Bill Bayless, deputy chief of the East Rockingham Fire Department.

Crews from ERFD and Cordova responded after the call went out around 11:30, but Bayless said “the sprinkler system had it extinguished by the time we got there.” The only damage, he added, was to the bags — “It didn’t even smoke up the building.

A front-end loader was brought in to take out the molten material where firefighters sprayed it down to make sure the hot spots were out. “We don’t know why they smoldered like that,” said Laura Murphy, vice president of marketing for Direct Pack. She said the company would be conducting an internal investigation into the cause.

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