09/04/11 330 W - + 5 - 5 Twenty Years After the Hamlet Processing Plant Fire

Yesterday was the twentieth anniversary of North Carolina's deadliest fire (and deadliest industrial accident), when 25 people were killed on September 3, 1991, in a chicken processing plant fire in Hamlet. Read Wikipedia article. Here are some of the stories and editorials remembering the event. What others are you reading this day before, well, Labor Day? And has anyone ever written a history from the responder's perspective, over the years? Wonder what the run card looked like, for fire and EMS? Anyway, for your Sunday reading:

The N & O posted a photo with that story. They were highlighting the fact that the employees tried to kick the door down to escape the fire. Unfortionately for them and the first thing that I noticed and asked the guys at the kitchen table when reading this article is what did they notice about this door was that it was an inward opening door with some added slide locks on the door. A nice short 5 minute discussion and training moment around the table.
Mike - 09/04/11 - 14:54

One of the biggest impacts from Hamlet was a mandatory fire inspection schedule. Before, there was no state requirement that specificed how often buildings have a periodic fire inspection. With this new requirement, many fire departments were forced to hire additional fire inspectors. Being one of those hired, we inspected businesses never inspected before. Some jurisdictions still struggle to meet the required schedule.
Chris - 09/05/11 - 09:00

This event is something I am considering researching and writing a full-length, academic-style history on. As much as people like to say “never forget,” sadly, the vast majority of people have forgotten. Hopefully another accident of this scale will not take place in NC, or anywhere for that matter, although this is woefully optimistic thinking on my part.
Frank Blazich (Web Site) - 09/07/11 - 10:27

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