FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Fire crews worked through Sunday and Monday night trying to extinguish flames at the former DuPont Plant in Florence County, after it caught on fire Sunday around 11 p.m.
A guard on the scene noticed the fire and called for help. Windy Hill Fire Police Chief John DeLung says the fire is the biggest Florence County has seen in 20 years. There are no injuries reported, and responders are using a “surround and drown” approach to put out the flames.
There were 11 fire stations and 65 responders on the scene Monday morning, where one wall collapsed, and the fire is contained to one section of the building but it is not under control. The biggest challenge for first responders is finding a water source, as they are pouring 1,000 gallons of water into the fire per minute, and the closest fire hydrant is more than half a mile away.
The DuPont Plant has been closed for a few years, and DuPont sold it in 2011 to a Wisconsin-based firm. It has been used most recently to store recycled plastic. It is the burning plastic that was proving a challenge to extinguish for firefighters, and crews with DHEC are on the scene to make sure the fire is not affecting air quality in the area.
DHEC has confirmed that particles in the air are not toxic at this point, and are consistent with any burning building. They will continue to monitor throughout the day and especially once fire is extinguished.
The intersection of National Cemetery Road and Paper Mill Road reopened Monday morning after closing for several hours.
Crews expect to be on the scene for the entire day. Horry County Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Scott Thompson said crews have been mobilized to assist, four firefighters have been in Florence since 11 p.m. Monday night. He continued to say mutual aid units are requested for Tuesday.
According to Midway Fire Rescue’s Twitter account, “As part of the SC mobilization plan Midway Fire Rescue personnel are being sent to Florence, SC to assist with the DuPont Plant Fire.”