Two taken to hospital after Wilson tire plant fire - WNCN: News, Weather

Fire breaks out at Bridgestone-Firestone plant in Wilson

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The fire started on the Banberry section of the first floor of the plant, located at at 3001 Firestone Parkway. The fire started on the Banberry section of the first floor of the plant, located at at 3001 Firestone Parkway.
WILSON, N.C. - Emergency crews continued to put out hot spots Saturday night at the Bridgestone-Firestone tire plant in Wilson, hours after the fire started.

The fire was first reported by a call made to 911 from the plant around 2:45 p.m., officials said.

Plant manager Gary Williamson said eight employees suffered smoke inhalation. One of those, a member of the plant's fire brigade, was among the first on the scene and was taken to Wilson Medical Center.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries. One was treated at a local hospital for a twisted ankle.

The fire started on the first floor of the plant, located at at 3001 Firestone Parkway, said Rodney Dancy, assistant emergency management director with the City of Wilson.

The building is where the tire-making process begins by making rubber.

"The size of the plant and the product they work with. Rubber burns for a long time," Dancy said. "Thank goodness it didn't get any worse than what it did."

The fire was mainly out by 5 p.m. but firefighters were still dealing with hot spots, authorities said.

A total of 70 responders were on scene during the fire.

Bridgestone Americas sent out an update late Saturday night saying, "The cause of the fire is not known. Damage was contained to a small portion of the plant’s mixing area and operations throughout the rest of the plant are continuing as usual. We expect to be cleared to enter the mixing area soon to begin repairs."

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Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

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