Charlotte Fire Department puts out early morning fire at grain processing plant

Charlotte Fire Department puts out fire at grain processing plant.
Charlotte Fire Department puts out fire at grain processing plant.(WILX)
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 3:54 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WILX) - A pre-dawn fire in a grain processing facility was put out before it could become much worse, prompting firefighters to praise the employees who reported it.

At 2:17 a.m. Wednesday morning the Charlotte Fire Department (CFD) was called to the Caledonia Farmers Elevator for a report of a fire in the basement of a grain processing area. According to CFD officials, crews were on the scene within six minutes.

“The first units arrived at 02:22 and found the fire was contained to a large electric motor and grain dust in the basement of the original 1960′s plant,” officials wrote in a post. “A hose line was stretched and quickly knocked the fire down, we ventilated the area and checked for any extension of fire into other areas.”

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Part of the danger of a fire in an area that processes grain is the possibility of a dust explosion. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) said dust explosions occur when combustible dusts build up in the air and ignites in a rapid chain reaction, causing a strong pressure wave to form.

“They are a deadly hazard in a variety of workplaces, from grain silos to plastics factories,” NFPA officials said.

Charlotte firefighters nonetheless approached the building and reached the source of the fire. Although multiple engines responded, the first two to arrive had the fire extinguished before it could do more damage.

Firefighters said they found that the processing area was properly vented, greatly decreasing the chances for a dust explosion.

“It was pretty well ventilated down there,” CFD told News 10. “The fire was contained to an overheated motor.”

No injuries were reported. The department further praised the facility’s employees, who they said acted quickly to get emergency responders where they needed to be to stop the fire in time.

“We commended facility employees for quick actions to prevent this incident from being much worse,” CFD wrote.

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