Fighting fire at HAVCO silos becomes daylong affair

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Firefighters from the Cape Girardeau and Scott City fire departments spent most of Wednesday battling two fires at HAVCO Wood Products Inc., located in the Scott City industrial park near the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport.

Firefighters from both departments responded to a call at 9:38 a.m. of a fire in two silos housing sawdust and wood chips at HAVCO, which manufactures wood flooring for flatbed trailers. More than 12 hours later, firefighters from both departments were still battling the blaze.

The reason for the length of time in putting out the fire is that the wood product in the silos is extremely flammable and will smolder for a long period of time, said Scott City deputy fire chief Bill Crump.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, Crump said, smoke was coming from both silos and plant operators reported an explosion in one silo.

One worker at HAVCO received burn injuries, but details on the worker's name and severity of burns were not available. The HAVCO employee was taken from the scene by ambulance.

No emergency personnel had reported injuries.

Cape Girardeau and Scott City firefighters were aided by firefighters from Jackson, Delta and the New Hamburg-Benton-Commerce Fire Protection District.

Standard procedure requires that both Cape Girardeau and Scott City firefighters be called out whenever a fire breaks out at the company.

A hatch on one of the silos sustained damage, but the silos themselves are made of concrete, Crump said, so they can withstand high temperatures. The major damage is expected from lost product and downtime for the company's 300 workers, since the company was closed so firefighters could battle the fire, he said.

HAVCO officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday night. The cause of the fire was still undetermined.

335-6611, extension 182

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