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Firefighters, emergency personnel respond again at Bridgestone (updated)
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Firefighters, emergency personnel respond again at Bridgestone (updated)

For the second time in a week fire broke out in the Banberry building on the Bridgestone campus.

The Banberry building is also called the mixer facility and is where the tire-making process begins. Smoke could be seen Saturday evening coming from the blue colored building as numerous fire departments from around the county responded to the call.

Bridgestone Plant Manager Gary Williamson said about 6:15 p.m., a fire was discovered in the duct work of the mixing department of Bridgestone of America Wilson Tire manufacturing company.

The fire was extinguished within 30 minutes, Williamson said. There were no injuries related to the fire or the procedures followed for putting it out.

Rodney Dancy, community preparedness coordinator for Wilson County Emergency Management, said up to 50 emergency workers and firefighters responded to the call.

"It was about 6:30 when 911 got the call saying there was a possible structure fire back in the building - same general location from last week's fire," Dancy said. "We had several trucks from the city, five county departments from around the county, EMS and Red Cross all responded."

Dozens of firefighters responded, including Wilson Fire/Rescue Services, Elm City Volunteer and other volunteer departments. The American Red Cross Disaster Response Team responded and EMS set up a hydration station for firefighters.

The cause of the fire is not known at this time.

Plant management is working with the fire department and related authorities to determine the cause of the fire, according to Williamson. 

"The Bridgestone internal team was the first to respond and use fire suppression techniques until relieved by members of the local  fire department," Williamson said."Damage appears to be isolated to ventilation ducts."

"It usually takes a while to find out why these kinds of fires start," Dancy said Saturday evening.

Around 7:30 p.m., Dancy said firefighters were working on a hot spot in the building coming from a duct.

Last Saturday, fire damage to the building was estimated to be at about $10,000 in addition to the equipment itself. By last Monday much of the cleanup was complete.

Last week officials said the company would continue to use the other three mixers that the fire did not damage.

The building was expected to be closed down for the week during the annual holiday shutdown, giving the company time to repair the damage in last week's fire.

Last week's fire was contained to one floor of the three floor building.

Around 75 firefighters from around the county came out last week for the first fire, city fire officials said. And 10 employees were treated for smoke inhalation. One was taken to the hospital. Two firefighters were also treated for minor injuries in last week's fire.

Bridgestone is one of Wilson's largest employers with over 2,100 employees and contractors at the plant.

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Tire builder said...

I work in the tire room at Bridgestone and I'm sad to see these things happening at our plant but Im thankful that there have only been minor injuries and no lives lost. I'm not that familiar with the Banbury operation but do realize there is the potential for major disaster when ever chemicals are involved. I'm also very thankful for our plant here in Wilson. We should all be thankful to have these jobs. Wherever you go you will find the need for improvement that's why it's called work. I feel our company is strong and WE will overcome this. I look forward to continuing to work here and make this the best plant in the Bridgestone family. My family relies on it and so do I!

Tuesday, July 08, 2014 at 10:10 PM
@ comments said...

Thank you! Seems someone finally understands!!! Might I also add that we could also be not working right now using up our last bit of vacation or worse yet having to take it with NO pay BUT as of right now we are still working!! Instead of complaining I am counting my blessings! I work in that area and I see how the opportunity is always there for fire.

Monday, July 07, 2014 at 4:23 PM
comments said...

It's apparent by the idiotic comments that these people have no idea about the plant and the type of work done in the banbury. Let me let you in on some dacts. Fires especially in the Banbury area of a tire manufacturing facility are not a uncommon occurrence. You have no idea the amount of highly flammable chemicals used in the rubber making process. When dealing with these volatile chemicals and the amount of heat generated making these rubbers fires are going to happen from time to time. When the fire start in the exhaust ducts when the is years of accumulated carbon black the fire are very difficult to pinpoint and extinguish. So please keep the uneducated comments to yourself.

Monday, July 07, 2014 at 10:53 AM
Idclare said...

Is Firestone drug testing employees in this facility or is everyone on break updating there Facebook not paying attention...Geeeez!?

Sunday, July 06, 2014 at 8:53 PM
Hmmm said...

Maybe god is trying to tell firestone something

Sunday, July 06, 2014 at 8:14 PM
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