Two-alarm fire temporarily shuts down NC Freightliner plant

A two-alarm fire at Freightliner’s truck manufacturing plant in Mount Holly temporarily shut down operations Thursday.

The 3:25 a.m. fire in the plant’s paint filtration system on the roof of the plant took more than an hour to get out in part because of its location inside a metal structure, said Mount Holly Fire and Rescue Chief Dale Oplinger.

“It was so hot in there they have to cut a hole in there to ventilate it just so we could get in there,” Oplinger said.

Freightliner workers will investigate the root cause of the fire, said Dave Giroux, a spokesman for Freightliner’s parent company Daimler Trucks North America.

Oplinger estimated the fire caused between $5,000 and $10,000 in property damage, but that does not count lost work time.

Nobody was hurt although one Mount Holly firefighter did suffer a steam burn that did not require medical attention.

About forty firefighters responded to the blaze. Other fire departments assisting included East Gaston, Lucia-Riverbend, Charlotte, Community, New Hope and Gaston Emergency Medical Services.

“It was a substantial fire for Freightliner because they had to shut down their operations,” Oplinger said.

Firefighters were on the scene for more than three hours.

“The guys did a great job for minimal – comparatively speaking – damage,” Oplinger said. “I’m proud of them.”

The third shift was unable to return to work Thursday, but the first shift was able to work, Oplinger said.

Freightliner employs about 1,500 workers at its Mount Holly plant.

via Two-alarm fire temporarily shuts down Freightliner plant (updated) – Gaston Gazette.

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