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07-21-16 Firefighters Head Off Commercial Fire

The fire department received the alarm at 5:05 p.m. and responded with six fire companies to ADM Southern Cellulose Products at 103 W. 45th Street. Firefighters with Quint 14 were the first on the scene.

Though there was only light smoke visible from the outside, once inside the large building, Captain Tim Waters said they could see dozens of cotton bales that were on fire. Captain David Thompson Jr., the incident commander, called for a second alarm response, in part, because of the extreme heat outside. Having extra firefighters on the scene enabled the crews to be rotated out to keep them from becoming overheated and exhausted. A total of 13 fire companies responded to this fire.

Captain Thompson said the company had recently repaired the sprinkler system in the building and it activated properly, which helped to keep the fire contained. Firefighters from several companies carried in hand-held hoselines to attack the fire. As the firefighters extinguished the fire in the cotton bales, a forklift operator with the company removed the burned bales from the building. The fire was brought under control in 15 to 20 minutes. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire will be ruled accidental. Company executives told firefighters that the bales are held together by wire, and they believe a wire on one of the bales might have created a spark against the concrete while being moved by a forklift. When the spark hit the cotton, a fire broke out. About 200 bales of cotton were involved in the fire. The dollar loss was estimated at $30,000. The building itself was not damaged and company executives said the fire will have minimal impact on its operation. s2m2 police, Hamilton County EMS and s2m2-Hamilton County Rescue also provided assistance on the scene.

Chief Bowman

Fire Administration
910 Wisdom Street (map)
s2m2, TN 37406
() -5600
() -5610 (fax)

Fire Prevention Bureau
910 Wisdom Street (map)
s2m2, TN 37406
() -5618
() -5611 (fax)

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