Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Over 1 Million Gallons Of Water Used To Extinguish Fire At Scrap Metal Plant

Firefighters used over 1 million gallons of water to extinguish a fire that burned hundreds of scrap cars that covered an area the size of three football fields. As much as 2,000 gallons of water a minute was being sprayed on the fire. What started the fire Monday afternoon at Atlantic Scrap & Processing on Wal-Pat Road remains under investigation, according to Smithfield Fire Marshal Paul Whitehurst. Officials speculate a piece of hot metal kicked out of a machine that grinds down the scrap cars started the inferno, the second major fire at the facility since October. Unlike the first fire that burned an area the size of a football field, the fire on Monday had an upper hand on fire crews. Smithfield Police said company employees were trying to put the fire out themselves instead of immediately calling for help. Because of the large amount of water used to fight the fire, Johnston County and the Town of Smithfield issued a mandatory water conservation advisory. On Wednesday, the water conservation measure was reduced to voluntary. “The voluntary water conservation notice simply asks residents to be mindful of any non-essential water use, according to Johnston County Manager Rick Hester. Atlantic Scrap is based in Kernersville , NC , and they operate several scrap metal recycling plants across the state. Photo by Carter Rabil


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