Fire at Holcim’s Holly Hill works, USA

Fire at Holcim’s Holly Hill works, USA
Published: 15 July 2011

A fire broke out at Holcim’s Holly Hill, South Carolina, cement plant on Wednesday after lightning ignited fumes in a rail tanker that was being emptied of fuel.

Plant employees were able to extinguish the fire within a half hour, Facility Manager Joe McFalls said.
"We were able to put it out pretty quickly," McFalls said.

No one was injured in the incident, nor were the contents of the tanker spilled, McFalls said. In addition, no equipment was damaged and the plant will continue operate normally.

"Their safety team did everything they should have to contain it," Orangeburg County Emergency Services Director John Smith said at the scene.

The employees already had emptied fuel from some tankers and were in the process of unloading another when lightning ignited the vapors in the tanker. There were about 1,000 gallons of a mixture of waste fuels left in the tanker when it caught fire.

Employees of Geocycle, a Holcim company that works at the plant, fought the fire.

"We have a water cannon system with foam. They were able to put it out fairly quickly," McFalls said.
He said one of the employees told him their training kicked in. "He said it was like automatic to them."