03/26/08 — Georgia-Pacific blast rocks neighborhood but no one hurt

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Georgia-Pacific blast rocks neighborhood but no one hurt

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on March 26, 2008 1:57 PM

No one was hurt in an explosion and minor fire at Georgia-Pacific wood processing facility last night, authorities said.

But Plant Manager Charles McLendon told Dudley Assistant Fire Chief Don Garner the incident caused $20,000 in damages to an oriented strand board processing facility.

The assistant chief, who was in command of the scene, called in to authorities around 10:15 p.m., he said.

"Georgia Pacific had it pretty well contained when we got there. They had four of those dust collectors that ignited and went off," Garner said.

There was also a small fire, the assistant chief said.

"We had a little fire in the main structure, but there was no real danger," Garner said.

But there was some firefighting work to do, the assistant chief said.

"We used our aerial truck and Mount Olive's aerial and finished up, we flushed out those dust collectors, and that took us a while," Garner said. "Everything was dripping wet until about 1:30 (a.m.), just to be sure everything was out."

The assistant chief said the explosion "wasn't a (really) bad situation."

Garner said the oriented strand board operation on Brewington Drive, between Emmaus Church Road and U.S. 117 South.

"The haven't had a problem there lately," Garner said. "In the past a motor might spark, and cause a fire. More than likely, it was just a spark."

Georgia Pacific Building Products contact Julie Davis said she was looking into the incident.

Wayne County Fire Marshal Bryan Taylor confirmed the incident was a dust explosion in four dust collection tanks.

Plant Manager McLendon said through an associate that he would have to contact superiors in order to speak to media.