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Morning fire damages Chambersburg manufacturing plant

October 27, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Tuesday morning fire in a dust filtration system at a manufacturing plant in the borough caused an estimated $200,000 damage, Emergency Services Chief John Vanlandingham said.

The fire at TB Woods, at 440 Fifth Ave., was called in at 4:52 a.m., Vanlandingham said. The fire was in a filter system that collected dust from a grinding operation at the plant, which makes power transmission equipment.

The combination of metal dust and fiberglass filters "burned readily," he said.

Plant employees shut down the ventilating system, which kept the fire from spreading into the duct work and inside the building, Vanlandingham said.

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The fire was confined to the filter system, a series of 40-foot high stacks outside the building, he said. No employees or firefighters were injured, he said.

"We used our new foam system on our engine to put out the fire," he said. Fighting the fire, however, was "very labor intensive," he said.

Firefighters had to remove metal plates from the stacks, take out the fiberglass filters and then inject foam, Vanlandingham said. The last units left the scene at about 8 a.m., he said.

Company officials said the aging filter system was scheduled for replacement, according to Vanlandingham. The system was destroyed, he said.

The cause of the fire had not been determined as of Tuesday afternoon, Vanlandingham said.

Firefighters from the Franklin, Marion and Fayetteville fire companies assisted the Chambersburg Fire Department, he said.

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