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Fire damages city plant

 

JENNA-LEY HARRISON

Staff Writer

 

 

A blaze that broke out at a Lincolnton plant Sunday morning demolished a trailer and destroyed several thousands of dollars in railroad equipment, plant officials said.

Lincolnton Fire Department responded just before 7 a.m. to Omni Products, Inc., located at 1591 North Aspen Street, Chief Mitch Burgin said.

North 321 Fire Department provided mutual aid.

An on-duty Lincolnton police officer told fire officials he smelled something burning in the area, and upon further investigation, located the fiery incident and called fire crews.

No one was inside the building at the time.

Burgin said flames and smoke were visible from the steel building when firefighters arrived on scene.

Firefighters squelched the fire and worked the scene for more than two hours, leaving the area at 9:30 a.m, fire officials said.

In addition to consuming an office trailer, located inside the facility, Plant Manager Casey Bolick said he lost several thousands of dollars in miscellaneous supplies used for constructing railroad crossings.

Burgin added that some of the building’s siding was also damaged in the incident and will need replacing.

Bolick has been head of the plant for the last six years and said the facility has never experienced a more significant emergency, including a building break-in several years ago.

Omni moved into the building, located behind the Lincoln Plaza Shopping Center, about eight years ago, filling the space where Lowe’s Hardware once housed its lumber supplies.

According to omnirail.com, the business serves as the nation’s leading supplier of grade crossing systems.

While the incident remains under investigation by Lincolnton Fire Marshal Patrick King, firefighters have determined an area where they believe the fire commenced, Burgin said.

Fire officials do not believe the incident was arson since a significant amount of concrete welding takes place at the plant and could have sparked the incident.

Bolick felt confident Monday afternoon that the facility’s workflow would not be impaired by the fiery mishap.

He also said the plant would be receiving a number of generators to keep power on.

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