G-P fire of undetermined origin

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 21, 2007

AHOSKIE – A four-alarm fire caused damage here Tuesday night at Georgia-Pacific’s Chip-and-Saw Mill located on NC 561 East.

Firefighters from four departments battled the blaze for nearly four hours.

According to Ahoskie Rural Fire Chief Paul Cherry, the call came in at 8:08 p.m.

“We were informed that it was a structure fire,” Cherry said. “Upon our arrival, we found a trailer full of wood chips was on fire as well as fire showing in a bin area that was feeding the chips into the trailer.”

Cherry said that due to the height of the bin area, a silo approximately three stories tall, he requested mutual aid assistance from the Winton and Murfreesboro fire departments. The request to Murfreesboro was for their ladder truck, one used to spray water on top of a fire.

Cherry said after the blaze was extinguished in the trailer, the bin area was slowly split open to allow firemen to thoroughly wet the wood chips as they fell. Meanwhile, the Murfreesboro ladder truck continued its water assault from up top.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. Cherry said G-P engineers would handle the investigation.

All totaled, nine firefighting units and 39 firemen responded. Additionally, Ahoskie Rescue and Winton Rescue sent one unit each and a total of six personnel. They were each placed on standby in case of any injuries, which Cherry reported none.

Hertford County Fire Marshall Charles Jones also responded.

The extent of damages or if the fire affected operations at the G-P plant were not known by News-Herald presstime on Wednesday night.