According to the Kearney Volunteer Fire Department (KVFD), they found heavy black smoke when they arrived at Eaton Corporation at 4200 East Highway 30. The smoke was coming from the roof and exterior doors of the west side of facility. Employees were evacuating when fire crews arrived.
One crew found the fire and extinguished it while another gained access to the roof to ensure the fire had not extended to the roof.
Fire command verified with Eaton’s management that all employees were accounted for and had been evacuated.
Power was shut down in the impacted area along with the sprinkler system which was activated by the fire.
Two Eaton’s employees were evaluated by Good Samaritan EMS for smoke inhalation. No other injuries were reported.
The fire origin and cause are still under investigation, but the original investigation showed that the fire started in a seat grinder and spread to a mist collector. The fire was mostly contained to the area of these two machines, according to KVFD.
The fire started around 6:30 a.m. at the factory in the 1400 block of Progress Avenue.
Employees in the building where the fire was immediately evacuated, and the building remains shut down until further notice, Akzo Nobel said in a statement to The High Point Enterprise.
Firefighters saw flames coming from part of one building when they arrived, Deputy Fire Chief Brian Evans of the High Point Fire Department said. The fire started in a vat in a production area. A sprinkler system activated and kept the fire from spreading further, he said.
Firefighters brought the blaze under control in eight minutes, and no one was injured.
Three buildings were initially evacuated while firefighters brought the blaze under control, Evans said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation but it is being ruled an accident, he said.
A dollar estimate of the damage wasn’t available Tuesday.
Fifteen units and 33 firefighters went to the fire scene.
Rockland Fire Chief Christopher Whytock said this was the second consecutive fire in which a sprinkler system in an industrial building worked like it was intended and limited damage. On March 1, the department responded to a fire at Weatherend Estate Furniture in the Industrial Park.
The call at IFF came in shortly after 6 p.m. March 20. Rockland crews were at the scene within a few minutes followed by Rockport.
Chief Whytock said a fire started in an office in Building 13. The sprinkler system extinguished the fire.
The chief said workers began to smell what they described as “dust on a heater” in the area of the office about 50 minutes before the fire alarm and sprinkler system tripped. Workers looked around but couldn’t find the source of the smell and it had dissipated. They looked through a glass door into the office but didn’t see any source of the smell.
“What we found is that the roll of brown paper towels had smoldered for some time before it then caught a plastic bottle next to the roll on fire and the alcohol that was in the bottle gave off enough heat to then start melting the radio in the area of the fire. Once that got burning the heat was enough to initiate the sprinkler system,” the chief said.
Workers were outside the large building immediately past the gate at the Lime Street entrance as firefighters went inside the structure which had a receiving sign on it.
The International Flavors and Fragrances plant produces carrageenan from seaweed. Even though the company lists IFF as its owner, workers were wearing hard hats that said DuPont.
Crews were sent to the building in the 100 block of South Fair Oaks Avenue just after 7:30 a.m. Monday. A nearby EMS crew that was responding to an unrelated call noticed steam and smoke coming from the area.
Staff at the building reported that a receptacle that collected metal shavings, dust and debris caught fire. The sprinkler system in the receptacle triggered and the fire was put out before it could spread.
The Steinbach Fire Department was called to the window manufacturer at approximately 2:30 pm. By then, the building was evacuated.
“Usually if we are getting a call at Loewen there is potential for a large fire,” says Fire Chief Kel Toews.
Toews says when they arrived on scene they determined the fire was coming from within a wood hopper.
“It was quickly extinguished,” he notes. “Fire damage was contained basically to that room.”
Toews notes the fire set off the sprinkler system and as a result there is water damage in the room below.
Jon Sawatzky is Director of Product and Marketing at Loewen. He says they are still waiting to hear the official cause of the fire and the extent of damage. But, he says damage appears minimal.
“Our staff did an incredible job of following protocol, which helped to keep everyone safe and we’re already back in operation, we’re thrilled and relieved to say that nobody was hurt,” said Sawatzky on Wednesday shortly after 4 pm.
“We also want to acknowledge and express our gratitude to the Steinbach Fire Department, Southern Health Emergency Medical Services, and the RCMP for the quick response in keeping us safe,” adds Sawatzky.