After three rekindling fire calls, firefighters help clear warehouse of burning material
BATON ROUGE - After being called out two more times for rekindling flames at a warehouse fire earlier this week, firefighters decided Friday to remove rubber from the facility that initially caught on fire late Wednesday night.
A Baton Rouge Fire Department spokesperson said rubber materials from inside were spread out in a thin layer outside and sprayed with water. The process started after lunch and will take several hours, the department said.
Flames first erupted at the rubber facility on 2655 North Foster Drive near Choctaw Drive Wednesday evening. WBRZ.com and WBRZ News 2 at 10:00 broke details of the blaze first with images of flames pouring out of the open-air storage bunker.
The business was closed for the night when the fire started, the fire department said. Its investigation continued Friday as firefighters were once again dispatched to the location.
After the blaze Wednesday night, firefighters returned to the facility to deal with hot spots - localized areas of a fire that flame up - Thursday. Then Friday, crews were called just before lunch about material still smoldering deep under fine rubber material that had likely never gone out after the initial fire. What remained burning was buried so deep under a layer of sand-like rubber, specialized equipment to detect heat could not locate it before firefighters left the two previous times. It was only uncovered as cleaning crews worked to remove charred remains.
The initial fire sent heavy, soot-filled black smoke into the air. While crews said the smoke was not hazardous, it left a residue on people's homes and vehicles in the area. Many people spent Thursday cleaning the soot off their things.
"(The soot covered) my house completely," Roosevelt Greensberry, a nearby resident, said in a report about the soot on WBRZ News 2 at 6:00 Thursday. "Both my vehicles (too), you know. I was wondering whose supposed to get that stuff off my house," he said.
According to BRFD, the fire caused about $140,000 in damage to the storage building.
The rekindling Friday did not fuel large flames or thick smoke. Firefighters hope they'll solve the rekindling issues by pulling everything out and getting it wet.
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