Furnace catches fire at Granges, formerly Noranda Aluminum

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 30, 2016

By Shavonne Walker

SALISBURY — A fire in the furnace used to make aluminum foil at the former Noranda Aluminum led to a building evacuation at the South Jake Alexander Boulevard plant.

The furnace at the plant, now called Granges, is used like a stove. The foil has to bake at certain temperatures, explained City Fire Marshal Terry Smith.

Fire crews worked with plant personnel to get the furnace out of service. After a few hours, the plant returned to normal operations.

Multiple fire departments responded and even some Cabarrus County units assisted, Smith said, because of mutual aid with those departments.

He said the reason why there was so much fire response was because of the size of the building. For large structures, crews receive lots of help in the event the fire gets too big to handle.

The three-alarm fire was under control by the time other units began arriving, just around noon.

The fire is still under investigation, Smith said.

Contrary to early reports of the furnace fire spreading to exterior of the building, Smith said he’s not aware that it spread beyond the furnace area.

Fire investigators know the fire started in the furnace and that something happened to it, but they haven’t figured out what the issue was, he said.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.