Three-Alarm Fire Damages Zinc Plant In Clarksville
By Tim Wetzel
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Fire crews spent nearly seven hours working to put out a three-alarm fire that seriously damaged a chemical plant in Clarksville.
The fire broke out around 12:30 a.m. at the Purity Zinc Metals Plant on International Boulevard. Three workers who were inside the plant reported hearing an explosion, and they said they ran out of the plant as the flames erupted.
Fortunately, no one was injured.
Firefighters were forced to let the fire burn for hours because it was too dangerous for them to go inside due to the highly flammable materials inside the plant.
The three-story plant's metal walls glowed orange with the heat from the fire by about 3 a.m. and that the entire 40,000-square-foot structure was damaged by either smoke or fire, which was still burning at dawn.
Firefighters eventually used foam on the flames because zinc dust reacts with water.
Clarksville Fire Marshal Ray Williams said firefighters had made progress, but because the foam didn't cool the combustible zinc, it kept reigniting.
Clarksville fire crews said they will likely be on the scene throughout the day.
Fire crews said they do not know what started the fire, but will investigate.