Fire officials search for cause of Nucor Steel blaze - - Jackson, MS

Fire officials search for cause of Nucor Steel blaze

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FLOWOOD, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

There was a spectacular fire in Flowood this morning that sent a huge plume of thick black smoke over 2-thousand feet into the air. The fire was at the Nucor Steel plant on Flowood drive at Fourth Street.

The company melts down old vehicles and scrap metal to make steel concrete reinforcing rods, and other steel products.

The blaze was called in at about 9:45 a.m., and it took until noon to get it fully under control.

Flowood firemen had to call for help from the airport which brought in a huge supply of foam.

Flowood Fire Chief Tim Pace says it was a hazardous material fire.

"It's big, it's hot, water won't put it out" said Pace. "You are not going to put this fire out with water, ok, you could say it's a Hazmat incident really. It's a fire but with the hazardous material, but we don't know what's in it. So we are going to handle it with the utmost of care in order to get this thing squared away."

Pace said the fire had nothing to do with the huge furnace the company uses to melt down the old vehicles.

"It's a scrap pile off to the side" added pace. "You know at first we think it goes through a heat pump, we are thinking that's what started it, we are not sure yet. You know when oxygen gets in contact with a chemical with oil or whatever, you have a potential to have a fire like this."

Pace had nothing but praise for his department and all of the others who helped battle the blaze.

"Nucor has provided us with all the resources we need" said Pace. "The hazardous materials man is there, the compliance man is there. DEQ has been notified, and we notified them of our plan, which is cool, separate it then extinguish it."

Flowood Drive was closed for hours because of fire hoses across it. The busy road was reopened at mid afternoon.

We were unable to get anyone from Nucor steel to talk to us about the fire.

Chief Pace said the cause is still under investigation.

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