April 6, 2011

Three injured in Shaw fire

From Staff Reports

— A fire in a Shaw Industries plant in south Dalton Tuesday morning resulted in three minor injuries, authorities said.

Dalton Deputy Fire Chief Gary Baggett said three people were injured with “minor burns and singed hair,” and that a company nurse treated them.

Shaw spokesman Al Scruggs said some employees were treated “on-site” at Shaw plant No. 80 on South Hamilton Street.

“If anything, (the injuries) were minor,” he said, but did not divulge the names of the employees. Scruggs said he did not know the exact cause of the fire, and was “very appreciative” of the fire department’s work.

The blaze caused “heavy smoke” by the time firefighters arrived within five minutes after the call was received at 9:37 a.m., and appeared to be caused when a conveyor belt quit feeding a boiler, Baggett said.

“The boiler is fueled by ground-up carpet scraps, and several conveyor belts feed the boiler,” he explained. “It appears an employee tried to shut down the one belt that had quit running but he shut all the belts down and the fire migrated to the conveyor belts.”

Baggett said the injured workers may have gone to the hospital by personal vehicle. He called damage to the conveyor system “moderate” and said the fire department may know more when an inspector from Shaw looks at the belts.

“Unlike a residential fire, we have to rely on them in an industrial fire,” he said. “We’ll wait a couple of days for someone to inspect who knows the system.”

Scruggs said inspectors were assessing the damage Tuesday afternoon after the fire had been doused and the area cooled down.