UPDATED…Fire Breaks Out At Old Furniture Plant In Lenoir
Update…the following is a press release from the City of Lenoir
Plant fire under control in Lenoir
LENOIR, NC (January 14, 2019) — The City of Lenoir Fire Department responded to a large structure fire on Virginia Street Sunday night, Jan. 13, 2019. As of Monday morning, firefighters had the blaze under control and were monitoring the scene.
The fire started sometime Sunday afternoon at an old plant located at 515 Virginia St. SW, off Morganton Boulevard in Lenoir. The building was the former Broyhill Occasional plant. It is currently vacant, and a company was working to salvage materials and clean up the building.
The Lenoir Fire Department (LFD) received the fire call at around 4:50 pm, and 55 City of Lenoir firefighters responded. After arriving on scene, the LFD command staff asked the Lenoir Police Department to shut down Morganton Boulevard and Virginia Street to run fire hoses. Lenoir firefighters had the blaze under control and contained around 11:30 pm Sunday night, and the majority of the crews returned to their stations around 1:30 am.
“At this point, the fire is contained within the building walls and it’s going to burn and smolder a few days,” LFD Fire Chief Ken Hair said Monday morning. “We’re making sure everything is contained. When we get visible fire, we put it out. It will take a few days.”
Chief Hair said preliminary reports suggest the fire was started by workers using torches to cut steel pipe and beams out of the roof. Hair said he suspects some roof material may have caught fire and had been smoldering unnoticed when the contractors left. The majority of the fire was the roof burning, he said. The building is predominantly steel and concrete.
There were a few explosions during the incident caused by pressurized acetylene and oxygen tanks on site. The building’s roof also collapsed during the fire.
Several agencies provided mutual aid during the incident. Hudson, Gamewell, and Valmead fire departments went on standby to respond to calls in Lenoir. Hudson responded to a couple calls in the Whitnel area during the fire.
Granite Falls Fire Department brought their fire drone to the scene and helped monitor the fire and locate hot spots. Gamewell Volunteer Fire Department brought an Air Truck to the scene to help refill air tanks. The City of Lenoir Public Utilities Department responded to ensure firefighters had good water flow, and the Lenoir Police Department responded to close roads and direct traffic.
“I want to thank all the agencies that responded to provide mutual aid and everyone who helped on scene,” Hair said. “We truly appreciate it.”
Hair said his crews will continue to monitor the scene while the property owner coordinates site cleanup.
No one was injured during the fire.
LENOIR, NC (January 13, 2019) — An old furniture plant in Lenoir caught fire in the late afternoon of Sunday, January 13, 2019 on the corner of Morganton Blvd. and Virginia Street at 621 Virginia Street. Authorities say it is the old Broyhill Occasional Plant 1.
No word yet what may have caused the fire.
The property is owned by a business named GD Lenoir LLC. Part of the property was apparently being re-developed.
Hub Scrap Metals, LLC based in Hagerstown, Maryland was removing wood, scrap metal, and steel I-beams from the property.
As soon as we hear more from the authorities, we will pass it along.
Photo courtesy of Steve Ohnesorge…