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Tennessee plant fire causes a stir

Posted on by SST

An early morning fire at a metal finishing plant surprised motorists passing by the Vonore, Tenn., facility on June 9.

As reported by Knoxville, Tenn., ABC affiliate WATE, the Vonore Fire Department promptly responded after receiving notifications at 7:30 a.m. from two motorists near the facility. Protech, the company who uses the facility, finishes metals for the industrial, medical and aerospace industries. As a result of this, firefighters were concerned toxic chemicals and acids were stored within the building. A HAZMAT crew was contacted in Monroe County, and together with the Madisonville, Hopewell, Greenback and Tri-Community Volunteer fire departments, coordinated efforts to contain the fire.

"These fires are few and far between," said Daniel Amschler, a lieutenant with the Vonore Fire Department. "But whenever we do have them, we're very cautious and make sure that everybody does get out and nobody is hurt."

The 40,000 square foot Protech facility sits on a 10-acre property in Monroe County. Smoke billowed from the building, delaying firefighters about 30 minutes from gaining access to the building. Once inside, flames were found near vats of acid. The plant was closed, and it was unclear from reports if the facility was equipped with a fire alarm system.

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