Small fire causes minor damage at Rubbermaid plant in Jackson

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Jackson firefighters responded to a small fire at the Rubbermaid plant Saturday morning on Lee Avenue, said department spokesman Steve Baugh.

"When you step outside our building you can see Rubbermaid from here," he said. "We saw there was heavy smoke showing and thought the worst until we got there."

In the single minute it took for fire trucks to arrive after the call at 10:59 a.m., about two hundred plant workers had already been evacuated from the building and accounted for by plant staff, he said.

The cause is still undetermined, but investigators are speculating that three sprinkler heads were activated after a dust buildup on heating equipment ignited, he said. The equipment bakes the coating on wire rack shelving. The flash caused an insulation fire in the building, which sustained minor damage.

While Cape Girardeau sent mutual aid to the scene, Millersville provided backup coverage at Jackson's fire station.

Firefighters spent two hours at Rubbermaid, but things quickly got back to normal.

"The portions of the building that were unaffected were back in operation before we left," Baugh said.

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