Fire erupts at Weyerhaeuser, units respond

Anthony Gonzalez Staff Reporter

September 27, 2013

A fire erupted at Weyerhaeuser on Friday afternoon engulfing a section of its press room.

The mill is located at 524 Pride Way in Elkin.

The blaze started at approximately 2:30 p.m.

“We have a little bit of an upset condition at the plant. We had a fire at our press. It looks like it started in a press duct area at the top of the press, but again due to the nature of our operation we call in everybody,” said mill manager Debbie Tadlock on Friday outside the security checkpoint of the plant.

Multiple fire departments were observed entering past the security checkpoint. C C Volunteer Fire Department was the lead department, but multiple area fire departments were called onto the scene.

“Mostly protocol and as a precaution,” said a C C Camp fire volunteer when asked if the extra units being called in was due to the severity of the fire. “It’s best to have more support compared to less.”

The fire was extinguished and local fire departments left the plant about 5 p.m.

“Everyone is still safe and we are currently assessing the damage to determine how extensive our repairs are. We anticipate that we will be able to start back up between 12 and 24 hours. We will have a better estimate once we finish our damage assessment,” stated Tadlock.

The cause of the blaze is unknown.

Tadlock expressed appreciation by thanking all of the local fire departments that responded to the mill on Friday. She also thanked the Weyerhaeuser Elkin Team Members for their safe and quick response to the fire.

During The Tribune’s most recent tour of Weyerhaeuser, a full visitor safety course was provided for all of its visitors prior to entering the industrial sections of the plant. In addition to direction on the proper evacuation methods in the event of a fire, hard hats, safety goggles, ear plugs, safety vests, were mandated for visitors to wear and provided by its safety team.

There were no reported injuries with Friday’s fire.

Weyerhaeuser is one of the world’s largest private owners of timberlands. It owns or controls more than 6 million acres of timberlands, primarily in the U.S., and manages another 14 million acres under long-term licenses in Canada. It is also one of the largest manufacturers of wood and cellulose fibers products, and it develops real estate, primarily as a builder of single-family homes. Weyerhaeuser Company is a real estate investment trust.

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 336-835-1513 or agonzalez@civitasmedia.com