JOPLIN, Mo. — Emergency crews were called out to a fire this afternoon (7/13) at a manufacturing plant near the Missouri/Kansas state line.
Just before 2:00 p.m., the Joplin Fire Department responded to a structure fire at the Owens Corning manufacturing plant located at 1983 South State Line Avenue in west Joplin.
Deputy Fire Chief, Andy Nimmo with the Joplin Fire Department said when firefighters arrived, they found a “significant amount of fire” in the roof of a centrally located building within the surrounding facility, where much of the manufacturing takes place.
Deputy Chief Nimmo said fire crews had to work from both inside the building and on the roof to extinguish the flames, which came from insulation lining the building’s roof.
Due to the location of the blaze, combined with an outdoor temperature of 95 degrees, crews battling the fire were rotated out every ten minutes to ensure they stayed hydrated.
“The heat was terrible and we were working on the roof which made it even hotter, and then all of our equipment added in and you have to understand that our guys are on duty for 24 hours a day, so they still have a lot of work to do for the rest of the shift, so we’ve got to keep them hydrated and keep them safe and make sure they’re ready to go.”Andy Nimmo – Deputy Fire Chief, Joplin Fire Department
The fire was extinguished around 5:00 p.m., more than three hours after it started.
Deputy Chief Nimmo said all of the manufacturing plant’s employees were evacuated and accounted for when fire crews first arrived, and no injuries were reported.
Joplin firefighters received mutual aid from other departments, including Galena Fire and Quapaw Fire as well as Cherokee County Ambulance and Joplin METS.
The cause of this fire is currently under investigation by the Joplin Fire Marshal.
At the same time, just a mile to the southeast, firefighters with the Carl Junction Fire Department were battling a 50 acre grass/brush fire that started with the malfunction of a tractor hay baler.
Assistant Fire Chief, Andrew Jiles with the Carl Junction Fire Department, said when crews arrived, they found a tractor and attached hay baler completely engulphed in flames, with fire rapidly spreading in all directions out from the equipment.
You can read more about that fire, HERE.