Fire forces Alcoa North Plant evacuation

UPDATE: Statement from Christy Newman, Community Relations Manager, Alcoa, Inc., Tennessee Operations

"Fire is out. We are glad there were no injuries, and we're grateful for the assistance of the local fire fighters who responded so quickly and professionally. We have begun a process to determine the cause as well as to fully assess damage and what, if any, impact there will be."

The North Plant at Alcoa, Inc., was evacuated Saturday afternoon when a fire ignited in the hot mill portion of the facility.

The hot mill is where the ingots are processed and milled down into aluminum sheets.

The fire was called in at 1:32 p.m. and personnel from Alcoa, Maryville and Blount County fire departments responded as did members of the Townsend Volunteer Fire Department. The Friendsville Volunteer Fire Department responded to assist by manning the station at Townsend.

“It is in the hot mill, and it is currently in the rafters,” Alcoa, Inc., community relations manager Christy Newman said.

Newman said that when she spoke with company officials on site at 2 p.m. no one had been injured in the plant. “It was evacuated, and everyone got out of the buildings safely,” she said.

Newman said the cause of the fire and extent of damages was unknown

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