Crews battling large fire at old DuPont building in Florence
Mon, 26 Aug 2013 03:46:22 GMT —
Firefighters battled a massive fire at the old DuPont plant on DuPont Road off of Highway 76 in Florence County. It started just after 10:30 Sunday night.
The fire is now under control, according to Florence County Fire and EMS Services Coordinator Sam Brockington.
The plant is now a warehouse that houses recyclable plastic chips which are highly flammable and not easy to extinguish.
Officials say the fire was contained to the center of the building and they are still working to determine the cause of the fire.
Crews used bulldozers to knock down walls so firefighters could get to the heart of the fire.
SC Department of Health and Environmental Control determined all the smoke from the fire had no impact on the air quality.
Security guards called 911 after they saw flames coming from one of the buildings.
"I was the first one on scene when we arrived. We had flames coming through the roof, the center of the building," said Chief John DeLung with Windy Hill Fire Department.
Chief DeLung says he knew it was going to be bad so before he even got there
he called for mutual aid.
All 11 fire departments in the county helped to battle the fire.
I made the decision for the defensive attack. So we put aerial devices and manliness outside the structure. Within the first 20 minutes a wall collapsed
," DeLung said.
DeLung added that they have nine water supply points. Crews used 14 tankers to shuttle in water from a fire hydrant about one mile away.
The building had a sprinkler system, but officials say it was turned off because the building no longer housed workers.
DeLung says this is one of the biggest fires he's had to fight in his more than 20 years as a firefighter and chief in Florence County.
Firefighters from two fire departments from Darlington County are helping battle the fire. They were called to relieve some Florence County volunteer firefighters who have to go to work.
About 65 firefighters were on scene.
Officials with the South Carolina Department of Public Safety said all drivers making deliveries to the paper mill should use Fire Tower and Liberty Chapel Roads.
DuPont closed its Teijin Films facility in Florence in 2010.
The plant employed about 213 workers when it closed and was one of Florence County's largest employers.
It operated in Florence for more than 48 years in Florence before it shutdown.