Fire at Laurel Fiberglass Tank Plant

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industrial fire protectionA fire engulfed a Laurel Fiberglass Plant on February 5.  More information is just becoming available.

Thick plumes of smoke could be seen for miles around the plant.  The plant is a complete loss, but - luckily - all 23 employees made it out alive with 1 person injured.

"The first individuals were on scene three minutes after page went out and it was already fully engulfed in black smoke, already venting through the roof.  Within five to seven minutes, we had the first collapse of the roof," said Laurel Fire Chief Brent Peters.

There were a lot of flammable chemicals fueling the fire.  "Fiberglass - we use a lot of flammable liquids - and the main ingredient is resin.  And there was probably 40k pounds of resin.  We just received a shipment this morning of a whole load of it, so that was the carrier of the fire," said Fiberglass Structures President, Rob Harris.

One man was injured while helping a co-worker, "We were cleaning our hands off and I looked down and his feet were on fire and [I] pulled him back away from the table and patted him down.  All around him was flames and I ended up catching on fire and burnt my whole left arm," said Kris Harasymczuk, parts builder.

UPDATE:  Harasymczuk was charged with arson.  Police believe he started his co-worker on fire with a lighter when they were washing their hands with acetone.  He then tried to pat down the fire and caught his arms on fire.

The toxic smoke was another health hazard, but wind was on their side, and it blew away from the employees.

To avoid interruption of business, they will be utilizing another related plant that is only a mile away until they can rebuild.