Crews Battle Fire At Rutherford Co. Concrete Facility
by Emily Luxen
SMYRNA, Tenn. – Firefighters from multiple departments worked in difficult conditions to get a fire at Rutherford County concrete plant under control.
The fire at Smyrna Ready Mix in the 4500 block of Hickory Grove Road started around 4 p.m. When crews arrived they found heavy smoke and flames.
The fire started in a maintenance building at the plant. Employees said they saw fire shooting out of an electrical panel. There were multiple employees inside the building when the fire started, but no one was hurt.
"We're just so blessed no one got hurt," said Jeff Hollingshead, General Manager of the plant. "It spread so quickly. Something bad could have happened."
Hollingshead said they plan to rebuild the destroyed building. In the meantime, they will shift operations into other buildings.
Firefighters said they encountered several challenges upon arriving at the fire. Initially, they struggled to get enough water to the fire. Also, the contents of the building made extinguishing the fire difficult.
"This was a very hazardous fire," said Larry Farley, Rutherford County Fire Chief. "When we got here we had rubber tires, tanks, acetone, and paint products to fight. There were some difficulties."
Chief Farley said hazmat crews will return to the site Saturday to make sure everything is cleaned up.
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
Students in the Academy of Energy and Power at Maplewood are busy getting ready for next week's Project Expo and had the opportunity to show it off some of their projects to Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper.