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[UPDATE] South Georgia Manufacturing Plant Fire Contained

By: Gabrielle Sarann Email
By: Gabrielle Sarann Email

Clinch County, Georgia - June 3, 2011

About a third, or two acres, of Ohio Mulch was ravaged by fire, according to Homerville-Clinch County Fire Chief Danny Strickland.

The plant's manager estimates damages at about $2 million.

The fire marshal believes it started in an electrical loader. Then, it spread to storage units, machinery and mulch piles.

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Clinch County, Georgia - June 1, 2011

Firefighters are monitoring the Ohio Mulch Plant. They're battling a fire that started before dawn Wednesday.

"This is what we found. Just full devastation," says Rick Baumbach, a production manager at Ohio Mulch on Highway 84 in Clinch County.

Baumbach was on his way to work when he saw smoke billowing.
He was still miles from the plant.

"I pulled up in my truck and looked over behind me and I mean everything was on fire except for my production building," says Baumbach, who's worked at Ohio Mulch for 11 years.

Baumbach immediately joined firefighters in salvaging whatever they could, including machinery and storage units. An area of the manufacturing plant was being devoured by flames as high as 100 feet, reports Danny Strickland, the fire chief of Homerville-Clinch County.

"We could see actual flames from five miles away," says Strickland. "It was basically just fire everywhere. We just had to pick a spot and start."

Firefighters quickly learned that no one was hurt.

As they knock down the flames, investigators continue to dig for answers.

Though the cause is under investigation, firefighters suspect an electrical short.

"The owners believe it started from an electrical loader and made its way to the electrical box," says Strickland. "But when it got there, it exploded."

Damages are approaching $2 million, says the plant manager, which includes mulch, machinery and packaging materials.

Baumbach says, "But it's not gonna stop us. We still got the ability to bag. We're still going to make mulch. We're gonna rebuild. We're gonna be stronger than ever."

Firefighters say it could take two to three days to put out the fire. Embers in the mulch piles could burn for weeks.

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Clinch County, Georgia - June 1, 2011 - [UPDATE] Noon -

Firefighters are still trying to put out the flames to an early morning business fire right now. Firefighters say the fire started at about 5 this morning at the Ohio Mulch plant on Highway 84 in Clinch County.

They are still on the scene working to extinguish the fire.
So far, there have been no injuries reported. Firefighters say there is probably more than $2,000,000 in damage to the machinery at the mulch plant. They also think that the fire started from an electrical shortage in the control room.

Stay with WCTV for details.

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Clinch County, Georgia - June 1, 2011 -

A fire took place at Ohio Mulch in Clinch County. Eyewitness News has a reporter on the scene.

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Video courtesy of theclinchcountynews.com

Stay with WCTV for updates.

Pictures can be found above.


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