05/12/09 172 W, 1 I - + 15 - 14 Copper Smelting Furnace Fire / Old Guilford College Chemical 19

FireNews Incident Reports has posted details of a copper smelting furnance fire in Stokes County on Monday. The 6:00 a.m. alarm for a building fire at 3990 US 311 Highway N in Pine Hall was first due for Stokes-Rockingham FD. Also dispatched were Walnut Cove FD, Madison FD, and Huntsville FD. Arriving units at a 600,000 square-foot copper tubing plant found fire under and around a smelting furnace. Temperature of the molten materials was 2,200+ degrees, with copper running out of a hole that had formed. The leaking metal melted and ignited machinery wiring and hydraulic hoses. The latter resulted in a hydraulic fluid leak. Water was ruled out for extinguishing, and Purple-K units were requested from Shiloh FD in Rockingham County and the city of Greensboro. The latter unit, Guilford College FD's old Chemical 19, was about 43 minutes from the scene, says Google Maps. Read the complete incident report. Or click to enlarge this photo, taken many years ago with something called a "film camera":

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