Virginia plant fire leaves two firefighters injured, $4 million in damages

Virginia

UPDATE (12:23 p.m.) — According to a representative from Roanoke Fire & EMS, the City of Roanoke firefighter injured during the Ardagh fire has been released from the hospital.

The firefighter was treated for minor injuries and smoke inhalation and should return to duty on the next working day.

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — After seven hours of battling smoke and flames, crews from Roanoke County and the City of Roanoke managed to extinguish the Ardagh plant fire around 3 a.m. on Saturday.

Roanoke County Fire & Rescue responded to calls of a commercial structure fire in the 5000 block of Hollins Road at approximately 8 p.m. on Friday. Crews arrived on the scene to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the roof of Ardagh Corporation’s two-story manufacturing facility.

WFXR News learned that all employees evacuated the plant without injury and that the fire was contained inside the exhaust pipes connected to one of the furnaces used to burn paint onto metal cans.

Officials from Roanoke County Fire & Rescue announced just before midnight on Friday that a large amount of non-toxic smoke and fumes spread from the plant and began to settle around parts of the Roanoke Valley.

One firefighter from Roanoke County suffered a back injury sometime between 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Friday. Officials say that firefighter was treated on scene, but another firefighter from the City of Roanoke Fire & EMS was later injured and taken to the hospital with smoke inhalation. All crews cleared the scene by 3:20 a.m. on Saturday.

According to a press release on Saturday morning, the Roanoke County Fire Marshal’s Office found the fire to be accidental and determined that the fire “originated in an ‘inner bake oven’ and traveled along the exterior roof line through the ‘Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer’ before being extinguished.”

Despite the lack of major structural damage to the building itself, authorities say that the machines, conveyor belts, and exhaust systems sustained significant fire, smoke, and water damage. The estimated damages add up to approximately $4 million.

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