NEWS-SUN photo by ED BALDRIDGE A fire at the Griffin Fertilizer plant on Scenic Hwy. Monday was cause for concern, but not dangerous, according to Frostproof Fire Chief Bill Lord.
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published: Friday, December 10, 2010
No injuries in fire at Griffin Fertilizer plant
By ED BALDRIDGE
FROSTPROOF -- Firefighters from Frostproof and Lake Wales were dispatched to handle a blaze at the Griffin Fertilizer Plant just north of Avon Park on Monday morning.
The call went out at approximately 11:30 a.m. that the plant on 3201 S. Scenic Highway, which handles nitrogenous fertilizer and sometimes pesticides, was on fire.
Three trucks from Frostproof, Polk County tanker and trucks and the high-rise ladder from Lake Wales were dispatched to the scene, but there was no danger of explosion, according to Frostproof Fire Chief Bill Lord.
Lord said that the fire was contained inside the building in two of the huge sludge bins, which are used to hold product during the mixing process.
Other than those working inside the immediate building, Lord said there was no need to evacuate the plant, nor was the public in the immediate area in any danger.
"There was damage to the materials inside, and to the conveyor system. The roof has some damage, but the building is not a total loss," Lord said.
The fire was caused by the chemical reaction in the bins, said Lord, as the product was moved from storage to a mixing area.
It took over five hours to put out the fire and to secure the area, Lord said, and the damage was estimated between $75,000 and $100,000.
The recent occurrence is not the first time the plant had caught on fire.
In 2000, a fire at the Frostproof plant forced an evacuation of about 1,100 homes and businesses in the area, according to www.acusafe.com, an Internet resource for safety and risk management.
Dried Sewage Sludge Caused Fires (by: Maureen Reilly - 12/21/2010)
It was dried sewage sludge that caused the fires at this fertilizer plant.... this week's fire as well as the one in 2000.
Chemical Reaction (by: M.S. Diaz - 12/13/2010)
The article mentions a chemical reaction in the sludge bins where chemicals were being mixed but does not mention that a hazardous materials team responded. I feel bad for the firefighter shown ventillating the roof and being in all that smoke (nitrogenous fertilizer and sometimes pesticides) plus whatever else was burning. Their protective clothing is designed for heat only. All those chemicals go right through the skin and into the bloodstream. Fertilizer and pesticides are important and we need them. However, they are extremely dangerous when on fire. I think we have a plant like this in Sebring, right by the airport and racetrack.
Member's Agreement Details (by: Brendalee - 12/13/2010)
Rusty; Sir, did you read the newspaper's "Members Agreement Details"? It reads: Keep it clean. Respect others opinions. Don't hate.
To "remember" (by: Rusty Shackleford - 12/11/2010)
What the hell is so rural about being within spitting distance from highway 27? I think you might have inhaled some of the smoke from the fire. I bet you think that the Titanic never actually sank either. Did you get your hands on some of that white lightnin' from Cowboys? When you sober up, read Ed's article again and it may make more sense to you.
accurate reporting (by: remember - 12/10/2010)
If I remember right in 2000 this plant was located downtown Frostproof and was relocated to its current location in rural Polk county. I don't think they have had a fire at this present plant. Might what to check your facts and add and addendum.
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