Fire Damages VA Tire Maker

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 @ 11:04 AM gHale

A fire in a mixer machine at Yokohama Tire Corp. in Salem, VA, early Friday morning damaged part of the facility.

Salem Fire & EMS went to the building in the 1500 block of Indiana Street about 2 a.m., according to the department. All employees inside the facility evacuated safely.

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The fire started at a mixer machine in the plant, according to a statement from the company. As a result of the fire, the sprinkler system triggered. The type of rubber that caught fire causes a lot of smoke, the company said.

The first crew arrived within six minutes of the call and found heavy fire coming from one side of the building. The two-alarm fire also required assistance from Roanoke Fire-EMS and Roanoke County Fire & Rescue. Firefighters were able to get the fire under control within about 30 minutes.

The fire was contained to one part of the building, which sustained significant damage from the fire. Damage from the fire required extensive salvage and overhaul operations. An estimate of the damage was not available Friday morning.

The plant was shut down at 4 a.m. and most areas of the plant resumed operations Friday morning, the company said.

About 32 people from fire and rescue agencies responded to the call.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Salem plant manufactures passenger, high-performance and light-truck tires and is one of Salem’s largest employers.

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