About 300 employees at a Beaulieu of America plant in Dalton, Ga., were evacuated Tuesday afternoon after a fire broke out in a ventilation system near the roof, company officials and local press reports confirmed. The May 13 fire at a Memofil Plant on Fifth Ave. in Dalton was brought under control by the Dalton Fire Department, which remained on the scene through late afternoon.
"This was very unfortunate but could have been
disastrous,” said Beaulieu president Ralph Boe, who arrived at the scene with
other top company officials who were in Dalton for a scheduled board meeting.
“We are thankful no one was injured during the fire or the evacuation.” He
added that safety procedures in place at the plant “helped in avoiding a
catastrophe.” Company founder Carl Bouckaert reportedly met with employees
outside, shaking hands with many.
Company officials said the larger section of the plant remained intact and
that production was resumed Tuesday evening with “alternate arrangements” used
for product produced in the section hit by the blaze
Assistant chief Bruce
Satterfield told theDalton Daily Citizenthat the fire
swept through air ducts in the plant, making the situation difficult for
firefighters. “There was a lot of fire in the ductwork and I think that’s
really what kept them over there so long,” he said. “Just putting out the
little, small fires in the duct and so forth. It’s manpower intensive in
finding openings or creating your own openings.”
Fire at Beaulieu Dalton plant: "Could have been disastrous"
May 14, 2008