An in-house volunteer fire brigade battled a machine fire Saturday night at a Goodyear Tire & Rubber plant in south central North Carolina.
Responders with the Westacre Volunteer Fire Department joined the in-house brigade in the firefighting effort when, at 5:25 p.m., a Banbury mixer used to break down elastomer in the production of rubber ignited in flames, local media report.
The mixer consists of heavy steel counterrotating paddles in an hourglass-shaped chamber that can hold up to half a ton of rubber.
Fifty to 75 people were evacuated from the section of the plant affected. Westarea Fire Chief Scott Bass told the Fayetteville Observer that the fire started in the basement and spread first to the plant’s ground floor and then into the ductwork and ceiling.
Firefighter confined the flames to one area of the plant, limiting the damage. The production line returned to operation Monday.