“It could have been a lot worse,” Lanett, Huguley fire departments put out blaze at Norbord plant

Published 11:22 am Tuesday, March 1, 2022

HUGULEY — The Lanett Fire Department was at Norbord Barton Mill for approximately six hours on Sunday to put out a fire and to keep it from flaring back up.

“It could have been a whole lot worse,” said Lanett Fire & EMS Chief Johnny Allen. “Norbord has an employee crew that did a great job in keeping it from getting out of control. The Huguley Fire Department was there offering back-up help. They were great, and we appreciate what they did.”

Lanett was called to the plant at approximately 10:30 a.m. According to Chief Allen, they had six firefighting apparatus and 25 firefighters on the scene.

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“The fire was contained to one of the dryer areas and was kept from getting to other areas of the plant. It started out as a small fire, but when it looked like it might have gotten out of control we were called in. Fortunately, it never got to other areas of the plant.

With their employee crew, Huguley and us on the scene it didn’t take long to get it under control.

We stayed as long as we did to keep hot spots from flaring up. Only one part of the plant was affected, and they didn’t have to completely shut down.”

“We always get great help from Huguley when we need it,” Allen said. “We appreciate those guys. We feel like our guys and theirs can get the job done in any situation.”

Huguley and Lanett have mutual aid agreements on their coverage areas. In the industrial park off Exit 77 on I-85 Lanett has the primary responsibility on the south side of Phillips Road where West Frazier is and Huguley has the north side where Knauf, Letica and WestRock are. Each department helps each other in the event of a fire in any of the plants.

Barton Mill is a unit of West Fraser, a diversified wood products company with more than 60 facilities in Canada, the U.S., United Kingdom and Europe. From responsibly sourced and sustainably managed forest resources, the company produces lumber, engineered wood such as OSB, and other products including pulp, newsprint, wood chips and renewable energy.

West Fraser’s Canadian corporate office and West Fraser Logistics are located in British Columbia. The Norbord Technology Center is located in Ville St. Laurent, Quebec, and the U.S. corporate office in Germantown, Tennessee.