Plant catches fire during excessive temperatures - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Plant catches fire during excessive temperatures

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By Nick Kenney - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Fire ripped through the Cargill plant on President's Island Monday afternoon, as firefighters worried about more than just flames.

Firefighters deliberately spent hours on scene, calling out several dozen crews over the course of the day.  Nobody was injured, even as crews battled both the fire and the weather.

Keith Staples of the Memphis Fire Department said the fire was confined.

"We've evacuated the plant until we get the fire totally extinguished," he said.

The fire was not visible from the street, but a mixture of steam and smoke shot from the stack above.

Skyrocketing temperatures made the task even more challenging than normal for the firefighters.  While paramedics suited up and rode to the core of the problem, firefighters cooled off in the shade.

The Memphis Fire Department even called out a MATA bus for anybody who had to evacuate and needed to escape the heat to get some air conditioning.

The bus was just in case, just like the ambulances. Both were parked and ready for anything.

"We have extra people on scene to rotate the guys out," Staples said. "That limits their exposure to heat exhaustion. They can re-hydrate, check their vital signs, make sure there's no medical need there."

Firefighters ask you follow their lead and keep your cool in this excessive heat.

Fire investigators say they are still trying to figure out how and why this fire started.

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