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North American Container fire

ORANGEBURG COUNTY FIRE DISTRICT

A fire early Saturday caused damage at North American Container. About 35 firefighters responded.

North American Container is cleaning up after a blaze early Saturday morning.

The Rowesville Fire Department responded to the Garland Road facility at about 2:30 a.m. following the report of an explosion, Orangeburg County Chief Fire Operations Officer Teddy Wolfe said.

The first units reported heavy fire near an exterior wall of a building at the facility. Smoke was seen coming from every ventilation point from the eaves of the building.

The facility had a working sprinkler system that activated and was able to hold the fire at bay until firefighters were able to assemble for an interior fire attack, Wolfe said.

LP gas cylinders near the fire exploded, leading to structural damage near the source from both the explosions and heat.

The large amount of stacked wood products created a challenge for firefighters during salvage and overhaul, Wolfe said.

Firefighters estimate 50 percent of the building was involved in fire at various stages.

In addition to Rowesville, mutual aid was received from the Canaan, Branchville, Bowman, West Middle, Four Holes and Cattle Creek fire departments, as well the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety, S.C. Highway Patrol, Orangeburg County Emergency Medical Services and Orangeburg County Fire District.

More than 35 firefighters responded in all. Wolfe said one person received a very minor injury after the initial attack.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

North American Container Corp. employs 400 people in the manufacture of bulk shipping containers.

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