Factory Fire

Workers at metal components plant stave off blaze, avoid injury

Workers at a Pennsylvania plant that manufactures mechanical and hydraulic parts kept their cool under fire on Tuesday, as they used fire extinguishers and followed safety protocols to stave off a fire while they waited for the fire department to arrive.

A sigh of relief and a reminder of the vital importance of safety measures, the incident occurred at the AMES Reese manufacturing plant in Bird-in-Hand, Pa., sometime around 4 p.m., according to a report by Lancaster Online. The local online news source also said the fire was started from malfunctioning equipment, which quickly spread to the building’s roof. Bird-in-Hand Fire Chief Lonnie Kauffman was interviewed. “They should be commended,” he told Lancaster Online. “This plant in particular stands out to me, asking for fire extinguisher training over the years. They knew what to do.”

The original report said smoke was visible by the time crews arrived at the Old Philadelphia Pike location at about 4:30 p.m, followed by scanner reports indicating about four to five inches of insulation were burning beneath the rubber roof at about 20 minutes later. The fire reportedly started in a type of metal-working furnace and spread to the roof.

AMES-Reese manufactures powdered metal products.—AMES-Reese photo

AMES-Reese manufactures powdered metal products.—AMES-Reese photo

Firefighters got the blaze under control in less than an hour. Estimated damages are expected to exceed $10,000, Kauffman said. The local Fire Chief, who is also a systems administrator at a local farmer’s market, credited the plant manager and employees with keeping cool and extinguishing the fire, as much as they could reach under the high ceiling, while calling 911.

No injuries were reported. $10,000 in damages is no small amount—but ‘no injuries’ is a much better payout to anyone who works with or around dangerous equipment. Always remember your safety protocols and the importance of safety training.

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