Small fire burned nine days earlier

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Mark Wineka
Salisbury Post
Nine days before the tragic March 7 fire at Salisbury Millwork, city firefighters assisted plant personnel in putting out a smoldering fire in and around a beam saw.
When Quint 2 entered the plant’s production room at 1:54 p.m. Feb. 27, employees were trying to extinguish the fire at the saw, a report released Friday said.
Quint 2 firefighters put out the fire in the exhaust tray of the beam saw and along the track for the saw’s wiring.
“Extensive overhaul was necessary due to the buildup of sawdust and scrap wood within the exhaust tray of the saw,” the Fire Department’s report said.
Firefighters also checked for an extension of the fire into ductwork and to an outside air handler, but the exhaust system was deemed clear. The Fire Department was cleared from the scene by 3:12 p.m.
On Friday, the Salisbury Fire Department also delivered to the Post reports related to two other previous fire calls at Salisbury Millwork, located at 1910 S. Martin Luther King Ave.
One dealt with a reported smoke odor at the plant Aug. 23, 2004.
“We investigated but couldn’t find a positive source,” the department’s report said. “It was narrowed down to a possible overheated motor. Plant personnel were advised to keep an eye on the motor.”
The other fire call related to a brush fire April 26, 2002.
On arrival at about 5:28 p.m. that day, firefighters found a 1,000-square-foot grassy area near the railroad tracks next to Salisbury Millwork on fire. It was deemed under control in five minutes, and the Fire Department’s last unit was cleared from the scene by 5:55 p.m.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263, or mwineka@salisburypost.com.

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