WJHL.com - Abingdon Business Fire Leaves No Injuries, Little Damage

Abingdon Business Fire Leaves No Injuries, Little Damage

Posted:
By Debra Mccown

ABINGDON, Va. – No injuries and minimal damage were reported Thursday after an industrial fire at a business near Exit 22 of Interstate 81.
Employees at MXI’s Maumee Express facility, which recycles and disposes of various flammable materials, said they were disposing of paint when they heard a sound like gunfire, and the material burst into flames.
“It sounded like a bunch of firecrackers and bullets going off,” said Derek Widener, a warehouse worker who said employees unsuccessfully tried to extinguish the fire.
“The ceiling started to catch fire and dripping flames, and that’s when we took off and called the fire department,” Widener said.
Firefighters from at least three departments arrived on the scene to extinguish the flames, and a hazardous materials team and officials from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality arrived afterward to assess cleanup.
“The way it sounded, there was something in the [paint] containers that we didn’t know about,” said David Myers, another employee who was nearby when the fire started.
John Brothers, plant safety director, said the materials involved were latex and oil-base paint.
“It was nothing that you wouldn’t have inside your normal house,” Brothers said, categorizing the 1 p.m. blaze as a “dumpster fire.”
He said the company would investigate to determine the cause.
“There was a lot of smoke coming out,” said Frank Smelcer, who was working in another part of the building and was told to evacuate. He and other workers watched from the other side of Old Trail Road, where the plant is located.
Brothers said employees followed procedure in fighting the blaze with fire extinguishers, portable foam units and dry chemical extinguishers, then calling the fire department when the building’s sprinkler system activated.
DEQ Hazardous Waste Compliance Coordinator Willard Keene said it didn’t appear any environmental damage had been done by the liquid runoff from the site.

dmccown@bristolnews.com | (276) 791-0701

  • THP investigating bicycle vs car crash in Carter County

    THP investigating bicycle vs car crash in Carter County

    The Tennessee Highway Patrol and Carter County Sheriff's Department are investigating a Thursday night crash that sent a bicyclist to the hospital with life threatening injuries.A car traveling on the Elizabethton Highway was making a turn onto King Springs Road when the vehicle struck a bicycle with a male rider.The bicyclist was transported to the Johnson City Medical Center.There occupants of the car were not injured.THP at the scene of the crash said that the bicycle was not equipped with...
    The Tennessee Highway Patrol and Carter County Sheriff's Department are investigating a Thursday night crash that sent a bicyclist to the hospital with life threatening injuries.A car traveling on the Elizabethton Highway was making a turn onto King Springs Road when the vehicle struck a bicycle with a male rider.The bicyclist was transported to the Johnson City Medical Center.There occupants of the car were not injured.THP at the scene of the crash said that the bicycle was not equipped with...
  • ETSU emergency exercise planned

    ETSU emergency exercise planned

    JOHNSON CITY – East Tennessee State University, the Quillen VA Medical Center and the Johnson City Fire Department will participate in a planned joint emergency exercise on Tuesday, Aug. 5, from 9-11 a.m. The exercise will take place on the VA Medical Center campus. Emergency vehicles will be present, and no action on behalf of students and employees will be required. ETSU’s emergency notification systems, including GoldAlert and the outdoor sirens, will not be utilized. University offici...
    JOHNSON CITY – East Tennessee State University, the Quillen VA Medical Center and the Johnson City Fire Department will participate in a planned joint emergency exercise on Tuesday, Aug. 5, from 9-11 a.m. The exercise will take place on the VA Medical Center campus. Emergency vehicles will be present, and no action on behalf of students and employees will be required. ETSU’s emergency notification systems, including GoldAlert and the outdoor sirens, will not be utilized. University offici...
  • Alexander, Carr making stops in Tri-Cities

    Alexander, Carr making stops in Tri-Cities

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:30 PM EDT2014-08-01 03:30:04 GMT
    Only a week away from Election Day, two U.S. Senate candidates will be in the Tri-Cities tonight.
    Only a week away from Election Day, two U.S. Senate candidates will be in the Tri-Cities tonight.
Powered by WorldNow

338 E Main Street
Johnson City, TN 37601

Telephone: 423.926.2151
Fax: 423.926.9080
Email: news@wjhl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.