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FireNews.net Special Report; New Info Added Sept 05
Conflagration Consumes Abandoned Blanket Factory;
Largest Fire in Buncombe County History
 


Published WED SEP 03
Updated FRI SEP 05
 

NEW STORY FRI SEP 05:
SWANNANOA - The following is a partial list of fire departments that responded to the blaze:

BUNCOMBE COUNTY:
Fairview
Black Mountain
West Buncombe
Swannanoa (primary FD)
Haw Creek
Weaverville
Reynolds
Enka Candler
Riceville
Upper Homminy
Reems Creek
Barnardsville
Jupiter
Beaverdam
Leicester
French Broad
Woodfin
Skyland
Broad River
Garren Creek
Asheville City (all 4 Ladders, several Engines.)

HENDERSON COUNTY:
Fletcher
Mountain Home
Mills River
Hendersonville

RUTHERFORD COUNTY:
Chimney Rock

McDOWELL COUNTY:
Crooked Creek
Marion
Old Fort

HAYWOOD COUNTY:
Clyde
Waynesville
Junaluska

NEW STORY THU SEP 04:

SWANNANOA - Companies used creativity to meet huge water supply demands on Wednesday at the large Beacon Plant fire.

     Fire units ran large diameter hose lines in drainage culverts under two roadways to avoid shutting down traffic. Units also drafted from the Swannanoa River.

     At one point, fire crews dug out between adjacent railroad ties to run lines under the railroad tracks to avoid interrupting train service.

     Operations continued well into the night with aerials and deck guns. A crane was expected to begin demolition of masonry walls that were in danger of additional collapses.

ORIGINAL STORY WED SEP 03:
SWANNANOA - A tremendous blaze struck this small town just east of Asheville early Wednesday morning. A piece of regional history, a huge complex of interconnected building, went up in flames as area residents watched. Many generations had earned their living at the plant.

     A one point during the battle, firefighters had to protect their own firehouse as flames threatened to jump the street. A nearby church was also in danger. By mid-morning, fire officials had solved most of their water supply problems. All unburned exposures were protected, however the large blaze continued to burn inside the confines of the complex.

     FireNews.net is preparing a diagram of the complex to illustrate the extent of the fire. Many of the buildings were built throughout the previous century, and therefore many different types of building technologies were used.

     It is reported that the sprinkler system had been deactivated once the building closed for good.



Historic photo of complex.








Photos: Asheville Citizen-Times / Ewart Ball
 

Additional Off-Site Links, updated for FRI SEP 05:
- McDowell News (article about McDowell firefighters).
-
Asheville Citizen-Times (includes audio clips, video clips, articles, and photo slide shows).
- Charlotte Observer (article from Assoc Press).

Additional Off-Site Links, updated for THU SEP 04:
- News 14 Carolina (includes article and video).
-
Asheville Citizen-Times (includes audio clips, video clips, articles, and photo slide shows).

Additional Off-Site Links:
-
Swannanoa Fire Dept
- Asheville Citizen-Times (includes audio clips, video clips, articles, and photo slide shows).
- WASV (contains article and video).
- WYFF (article and picture).
- WHNS (article).
- Blackmountainnews.com (article and pictures).

CAROLINAS FIRE PAGE INCIDENT LOG
LOCAL PAGES:

CFP1: <DP> SWANNANOA (BUNCOMBE 6) **MULT ALM** OLD "BEACON MFG" PLANT. LRG MILL BLDG. FIRE THRU ROOF ON ARRIVAL. M/A BLACK MTN (4), RICEVILLE (11), ASHEVILLE CITY & REYNOLDS (9). FIRE STILL ON-GOING. ALM 04:00. (294/803FC) [700] 

CFP1: U/D1 SWANNANOA **MULT ALM** OLD "BEACON MFG" PLANT. FORMER BLANKET FACTORY, CLOSED EARLIER THIS YEAR. AT LEAST 8 FDs O/S. HAD WALL COLLAPSE at 06:20. BLDG HAD NO PWR, BELIEVED SPRINKLER SYS SHUT DN. NO INJs. [700] 90

CFP1: U/D2 SWANNANOA **MULT ALM** "BEACON MFG" PLANT ON WHITSON AVE. VERY LARGE MULTI-BLDG COMPLEX COVERING SEVERAL BLKs. UNSURE # of STRUCTURES ON FIRE. FIRE REPORTEDLY THREATENED THE FIRE STA & A CHURCH X-FRM THE PLANT. COs HAVE EXTENSIVE WATER SUPPLY ESTABLISHED AND ARE CONTAINING THE FIRE TO THE ORIG PROPERTY. THE COMPLEX IS EXPECTED TO BURN INTO TONIGHT. [700] 90

CFP1: U/D3 SWANNANOA ***10 ALMs+*** OVER 20+ FDs O/S. COs DID SAVE PORTIONS OF THE COMPLEX. UNITS CONTINUE FIGHTING FIRE. BEING CALLED "Largest Blaze in Buncombe History" Extensive coverage just updated on FireNews.net
[700] 99


CFP1: U/D4 SWANNANOA **12 ALM FIRE** FIRE at "BEACON PLANT" CONTINUES TO BURN. MOVING TOWARD UNBURNED PORTION AT EASTERN SIDE OF COMPLEX. LRG EXP OF 1000x400 STRUCT S of PROJECT NOT THREATENED. APPROX 200 CITIZENS OF NEIGHBORHOOD EVACD DUE TO CONCERNS OVER TOXIC SMK. EVAC of 1000' of PLANT. COMPLEX COVERED 42 ACRES, EST OF 75% DESTRUCTION. 24 FDs O/S. WATER RELAY FR RIVER OF OVER 1 MILE. [700] 90
 


-
FireNews.net Staff. Special thanks to Dave Williams in Atlanta for information on the complex.

Copyright 2003 - CAROLINAS FIRE PAGE - FireNews.net
    


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