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Updated: Tower fire smoke affects neighboring TBKY, GO Center facilities

NC GAZETTE / WBRT RADIO
STAFF REPORT

Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018 — (UPDATED 7 P.M. NOV. 21, 2018) A reported ventilation fire at the Tower Automotive building on Nutter Drive caused the building to be evacuated just after midnight Wednesday morning.

At 12:26 a.m., the Bardstown Fire Department was dispatched to Tower’s Nutter Drive facility for what was reported as a fire in the ventilation system. A Nelson County EMS ambulance was also dispatched to the scene.

The first firefighters on the scene reported seeing heavy smoke coming from the building. Fire crews found an extractor filtration machine on the outside of the building was on fire. This device removes metal shavings from machines inside the building, filters the air and returns it to the building. Firefighters believe the fire was started by a hot ember from welding that entered the machine and caught the filters on fire.

The smoke from Tower was also entering the Toyota Boshoku Kentucky building west of Tower’s building on Nutter Drive. The Nelson County Fire Department was requested to help remove smoke from that facility but could not do so until the fire at Tower was extinguished. Toyota Boshoku employees were moved to an area of the plant away from the smoke.

Firefighters reported control of the fire at about 1:07 a.m., though smoke was still traveling across the road affecting Toyota Boshoku. A second EMS ambulance was requested to respond after Toyota Boshoku employees complained of eye irritation and possible respiratory issues. Six employees were checked out by EMS and one was transported to Flaget Memorial Hospital.

Removing the smoke from the buildings took several hours. The Toyota Boshoku building was cleared of smoke at about 2:24 a.m., and the GO Center and Tower facility were cleared by about 3 a.m.

Additionally, the Nelson County Health Department responded to the GO Center due to the facility due the fact the GO Foods and the GO Center bottling lines were located in areas that had been filled with smoke. At 9 a.m. Wednesday, the health department released the GO Center for normal production.

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