Local News

Smoke Hangs Over Henderson Fire Scene

Posted December 16, 2003 6:36 a.m. EST

— A janitorial supply plant in Henderson continues to smolder Tuesday morning as firefighters monitor hot spots at

E.T.C. of Henderson

. The plant was filled with highly flammable materials when it erupted into flames Monday.

Officials said the fire started just after noon at the warehouse Wakefield Avenue near Dabney Drive. The company makes janitorial supplies, including floor pads, mops and brushes.

Authorities said the fire appeared to have started in the front of the building near the offices. Fire crews from Henderson, Vance County and the Bear Pond volunteer fire department worked throughout the night to stop the blaze.

"It has been a very hot fire. We have had to move our truck around several times to keep it from getting damaged," Henderson Fire Chief Danny Wilkinson said.

The Sheriff's Office said a number of houses in the area were evacuated and crews were concerned about the fire's proximity to those homes.

"My first thought was, 'Oh, my God, it could be my house,'" said Scott Faulkner, who lives near the warehouse. "I got here as quick as I could to see if it really was my house. I was very relieved to find out that it wasn't my house."

At one point, the fire was so large that crews thought they would have to let the fire burn itself out. Fire officials were able to get the fire under control around 5 p.m, but crews stayed through the night to monitor hot spots.

Residents were allowed back to their homes late Monday.

One firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation; another was treated for first- and second-degree burns to the neck. None of the workers who were in the building at the time of the fire were injured.

SBI and ATF agents are expected at the site around 9:30 a.m.Tuesday to help determine the cause of the blaze.