Firefighters respond to mill fire

By Kevin Spradlin

* Photo gallery – more than 200 images

ROCKINGHAM — Company employees and first-responders avoided injury Wednesday afternoon after being dispatched to a cotton broadwoven fabric mill fire at a south Rockingham manufacturing facility.

Kevin Spradlin |

Kevin Spradlin |

Richmond County Emergency Services dispatchers placed a call for help to the Rockingham Fire Department at 3:48 p.m. for a commercial fire alarm activation at Wade Manufacturing Company, located at 235 River Road. The facility manufactures woven cotton and synthetic blend fabrics.

Rockingham Fire Chief Harold Isler said company officials indicated that debris that had been swept into a two large bales — “it looks just like cotton” — had somehow caught fire. When firefighters arrived, there was a light amount of smoke emanating from the southside entrance of the plant.

Upon entrance, firefighters were blanketed in water coming from the automatic sprinklers and also realized that, due to the location of the bales, they’d need an unusual length of hose to keep the blaze in check. Firefighters used 300 feet of 1 3/4-inch hose to extinguish what was left of the blaze.

Kevin Spradlin |

Kevin Spradlin |

“What kept it in check was the sprinkler system,” Isler said.

Isler said the cause of the fire remained under investigation.

Richmond County Emergency Services personnel were on site, as well as FirstHealth EMS. Isler had called one truck from the Cordova Volunteer Fire Department to be on standby at the scene as a precautionary measure, but they were largely not needed.

That wasn’t the end of the Rockingham Fire Department’s day — or even the shift. At 5:20 p.m., firefighters were dispatched to a stove fire in the 500 block of Wiregrass Road.

Kevin Spradlin |

Kevin Spradlin |




Filed in: Business, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News, Public safety, Rockingham

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  • momatad

    Dag! there are mills left in Richmond County?

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