Fire at old rug company could burn for days


CHEROKEE Co., S.C. (WSPA) — More than 2 million gallons of water have been used to put out a fire at a plastic auto parts recycling facility in Gaffney.

The building is the former location of Peeler Rug on Champion Ferry Road.

Fire Chief Billy Bishop along with agents from the state Fire Marshal’s office assessed the damage using drones on Friday. Bishop says it gives them a better view of the fire at the warehouse.

Bishop says using drones they’ve drafted a plan to get the fire under control.

“We are hoping to get to where we don’t have any kind of night time operation going on here tonight,” said Bishop.

The Fire Chief says after the roof collapsed it was nearly impossible to extinguish the fire. The concrete was acting as a barrier and keeping firefighters from reaching the plastic and cardboard burning beneath it.

After fighting the blaze for 33 hours, they were able to get heavy machinery to the scene.

“The track hoe is going to go in there and break the roof material up, drag it out along with any burning stuff in there,” Bishop told 7News. “Hopefully after hours of doing that we will have a lot of headway on the fire.”

Bishop says no one has been injured, but the building and everything in it is a total loss.

He says the building was not insured.

CHEROKEE Co., S.C. (WSPA) — Several fire departments are on the scene of a fire at a former rug company.

Cherokee County Dispatch said the fire was reported around 3:40 a.m. Thursday on Champion Ferry Road at the site of a former rug company.

7News is told it’s the former Peeler Rug company.

Several departments had responded to the scene three hours after the fire was reported, including Macedonia, Gaffney, Grassy Pond and Cherokee Creek, as well as Boiling Springs Fire Department from Cleveland County, N.C.  

No injuries were reported.

Cherokee Creek Fire Chief Billy Bishop said one of the first 911 calls was from an EMS unit that spotted it several miles away on Chesnee Highway.

Firefighters found the building in flames when they arrived on scene four minutes later.

Chief Bishop said JD Motorsports owns and rents the building where thousands of plastic car parts were being stored in anticipation of opening a recycling plant. 

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control has been notified.

Bishop is concerned about the air quality but said he doesn’t think it’s contaminated. However, people with respiratory problems are urged to avoid the area for the next few days. 

Cherokee Creek Fire Department said in a social media post that firefighting operations were scaled back after the roof collapsed.

The department said crews could not safely enter the building to fight the fire.

“Please note there will be fire and smoke visible for days to come. We are rotating personnel in and out to ensure the fire is contained to the building. Unfortunately the fire will have to burn itself out,” the department posted on Facebook shortly after noon Thursday.

Firefighters had used more than a million gallons of water by that afternoon.

Chief Bishop said they have called on fire departments from across the state to help.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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