Smoke could be seen for miles away, and flames shot up over 100 feet at Southern Plug and Manufacturing, located on Highway 2 in Morehouse Parish on Friday night.
State police, the Department of Environmental Quality, and the State Fire Marshal’s Office were called to investigate the scene. Company officials with Southern Plug estimate the damage to be several millions of dollars.
“The worst part is over,” says the general manager, Bob Green. “The blessing is that no one was injured.”
One firefighter remarked that all the water in the parish couldn’t control the flames. A series of low booms could be heard throughout the night, which fire officials believe was caused by the glue and solvents in the plant, which reaches its flashpoint and explodes at a high temperature.
The manager says the fire started in the hydraulic room, which powers the machines. Officials say that about 12 workers who comprise the night shift were on duty at the time, and had to evacuate.
Southern Plug & Mfg. creates wooden core
plugs to 80 percent of all paper mills in the
says that 70 people are employed at the company. He says that a corporate group
is flying into
“We still have something here. We still have part of the equipment and we’re close to being operable. I certainly hope so. It probably won’t be as big unless we expanded in some other area, because we have to get things going in a hurry,” said Green.
says Southern Plug & Mfg. has been in business in
Fire officials say they haven’t determined the cause yet, since the fire is still burning.