FOX16.com

Update: Worker Dies after Springdale Factory Fire

Crews called to Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies on Jefferson Street Wednesday afternoon.
SPRINGDALE, AR - One person has died following a fire at Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies, Inc. (AERT).

According to a company statement, the employee passed away at a Springfield, Missouri burn unit on Wednesday afternoon.

Three workers were injured in the Wednesday afternoon blaze at the Springdale factory, including one man with second-to-third degree burns over 85-percent of his body. One other associate is reported to be stable in the Springfield burn center while the third who was injured was treated and released from Northwest Medical Center.

Names are not being released at this time.

"Our greatest sympathy is with the family and friends of the employee who lost his life, and with those who sustained injuries," said Tim Morrison, AERT's President in a statement. "We are providing support to families and associates to help them through this very difficult time."

According to AERT, the facility is still down and the company has initiated an investigation in conjunction with local, state, and federal officials concerning this incident. There is no ongoing danger to the public and AERT's other facilities are continuing normal operations.

Update (July 17, 5:30 p.m.):
SPRINGDALE, AR - Three employees were injured in a fire at a Springdale factory Wednesday, including one man with second-to-third degree burns over 85-percent of his body.

Springdale firefighters were called to the Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies, Inc. (AERT) plant on Jefferson Street around 2:30 in the afternoon.

"On arrival, crews found not only a working commercial structure fire, but they also encountered three victims who are employees of AERT," says Assistant Chief Kevin McDonald.

The victims were taken to Northwest Health System, and two of them were then airlifted to a burn unit in Springfield, Missouri.

The company creates composite wood using recycled plastic and fine sawdust.

"Maintenance was occurring inside the facility, the dust associated with the type of process that goes on here resulted in some type of a flash fire."

McDonald says the problem isn't a new one at the plant, but it is hard to combat, because the piles of dust are extremely flammable.

"We've experienced fires before not only in those mixers, but also the dust accumulations throughout the facility," he says. "Anytime we disturb it with our hose streams, more often than not we do more harm than good... a lot of the areas where we can't really access the product that's in there, the dust accumulation just has to burn away."

Crews say the continued response concerns them, but the company is trying to improve safety.

"Every time we have a fire, AERT tries to learn from what we discover, what caused it, and take measures to prevent those kind of fires again," McDonald says.

Original story (July 17, 3:15 p.m.):
SPRINGDALE, AR - Several people have suffered burns in a business fire.

It happened this afternoon at Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies, Inc. (AERT).

According to Springdale Fire Chief Kevin McDonald, the injured have been taken to the hospital. Their conditions are not yet known.

AERT is located at 914 N. Jefferson Street.

The company issued the following news release regarding the fire:

Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB:AERT), a leading plastic recycler and manufacturer of green building products, experienced a fire at its Springdale North extrusion facility at approximately 2:40 PM this afternoon. Three associates were injured and transported to Northwest Medical Center in Springdale. Two of the associates have subsequently been transported to a regional burn center. The third associate expects to be released this evening.

Units from the Springdale fire department were called and responded quickly. The origin of the fire is unknown at this time. The Springdale fire department is completing work to extinguish the fire at this time.

At this point it appears that damage to the plant is minimal. The Springdale Fire Department will continue to monitor the situation.

"The company is greatly appreciative of the quick response time and professionalism of the Springdale Fire Department. We are also appreciative of our AERT plant associates and their dedication to safety and the company," stated Joe G. Brooks, CEO.

We will provide updates as we learn more.

Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus

Weather Right Now

57°F
Partly Cloudy
High: 58°F
Low: 51°F

7 day forecast