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Washington fire prompts safety concerns

Posted on by SST

On Aug. 22, a blaze at an asphalt manufacturer raised safety concerns for 30 nearby homes and led officials to close a local highway.

The Wenatchee World reported that Central Washington Asphalt, located in Wenatchee, Wa., experienced a fire in one of its batch plants in the early morning hours. Local firefighters were alerted of the fire at approximately 4 a.m. When they arrived on the scene, the flames were so intense, firefighters from Douglas County Fire District 2, and Chelan County Fire Districts 1 and 8 had difficulty extinguishing the site. It was not clear if the facility used a flame detector or other fire suppression equipment to mitigate damage.

"The fire was really big when we first got here, with 200 foot flames," said incident commander Dave Baker. "We had to let it die down before we could even get close to it."

Causing $1 million in damage, two diesel trucks, two tanks filled with an oil mixture and a large front-end loader were burned in the fire. Fire crews could not douse the blaze effectively enough with water. A foam-spraying truck was brought in from the Pangborn Memorial Airport that helped to contain the flames. 

According to Tyson Morris, the plant manager at Central Washington Asphalt, production at the plant will be halted for at least a week. 

Industrial Safety News brought to you by Safety Systems Technology, Inc., leaders in fire and gas detection.

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