Firefighters extinguish blaze at textile plant

Charles Warner cwarner@civitasmedia.com

February 24, 2014

BONHAM — Six fire departments were dispatched Monday night to combat a fire that spread to roof of a local textile plant.

The Bonham Fire Department was dispatched around 7:30 p.m. to Standard Textile at 100 Highpoint Drive at the intersection with US 176. Bonham Fire Chief Scott Austin said that when he arrived on the scene and went inside the plant he discovered the fire was spreading up into the duct work heading toward the roof. He said he then called for assistance from other area fire departments.

At Austin’s request, the Jonesville, Union, Kelly-Kelton, Monarch and Southside fire departments were dispatched to the scene to assist Bonham firefighters in extinguishing the blaze. Austin said Jonesville and Union departments brought their platform trucks which enabled firefighters to go up and battle the fire which he said had reached the roof. He said that Lockhart Power was placed on standby in case firefighters had to turn off power to the building.

“They had a lint fire behind one of the machines,” Austin said. “It was up all the pipework and duct work. The exhaust fan sucked it up inside of it and up into the roof.

“It popped off two of the sprinkler heads over the machine,” he said. “That took care of the fire inside. In between the roof and fan we had to go up and cut the fan out to get to the fire.”

Austin said later that he was told by Standard Textile personnel that the fire appeared to have been caused by the ballast in a fluorescent light shorting out. He said the light was hanging from the ceiling on the backside of the machine.

Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the blaze, but Austin said it nevertheless caused $10,000 worth of damage including damage to the fan. Austin said the damage also included water damage to some cotton material and the area of the roof firefighters had to cut away to get to the fire.

No one was injured in the blaze and Austin thanked the other departments for their assistance.

“We appreciate everybody’s help.”

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, Ext. 14.