Fire Stops Jonesboro Manufacturing Plant Assembly Line

FEBRUARY 18, 2004 - Posted at: 11:00pm

JONESBORO, AR -Workers from the manufacturing company Kemlite are recovering after being sent to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

Smoke started rolling out just before 7:00pm Wednesday night at the plant located on C. W. Post Road in Jonesboro's industrial park. Production Manager Tom Furnish said employees were on the assembly line using ovens to bake fiberglass panels used in the construction of RVs when something inside the exhaust system ignited.

Polyester resin used in the process is highly flammable, but did not catch fire. Employees got out safely. Firefighters got things under control in about 15 minutes, but stuck around for another hour and a half just to be safe.

"The reason it took as long as it did, is the ventilation system is extensive, and we had to trace the ventilation system basically from one end of the plant to the other, just ensuring that there was not spread of the fire through the ventilation system," said Battalion Chief Michael Stallings, a member of the Jonesboro Fire Department.

The assembly line was shut down, and at least four workers were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

No one was seriously injured, and there was no health threat from the chemicals inside.