Crews battle Kinston textile plant fire
Posted November 2, 2011
Updated November 3, 2011
Kinston, N.C. — Three firefighters suffered minor injuries Wednesday morning while battling a fire at a Kinston textile plant, which has caught fire at least four times in the past two years, according to authorities.
Smoke poured from the Kinston Fibers building, at 190 Neuse Road, for hours after the fire was reported at 6:20 a.m.
"All I saw was the smoke coming out," said Earl Norris, who lives across the street and was awakened by the sound of sirens.
Authorities say it could take two days to extinguish the blaze.
Crews used equipment to tear side panels off the metal building for access inside, and 1,000-pound bales of cotton were pulled outside using heavy machinery and then doused with water to stop them from smoldering.
The three injured firefighters, whose names were not released, were taken to Lenoir Memorial Hospital, where they were treated and released, Kinston Fire Department Assistant Chief Don Crawford said.
"I can't say right now if (the fire) is suspicious or not," Crawford said.
Agents with the State Bureau of Investigation and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were helping to investigate the cause of the fire.
Firefighters have responded to at least four fires at the plant in the past two years, Crawford said.
On Wednesday, volunteer firefighters from Sandy Bottom, Wysefork, Southwood, Deep Run, North Lenoir, Hugo, Sand Hill and Pink Hill assisted in battling the fire.