October 31, 2014

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Firefighters battle flames & extreme cold PDF Print E-mail
Written by Erika Schmidt Russell   
Tuesday, January 07, 2014 1:42 PM

Two workers and two firefighters were injured in a lengthy fire battle at MGP Distillery Monday, Jan. 6. Lawrenceburg Fire Department as well as Greendale Fire were dispatched at about 3:30 p.m. Monday for a report of a fire in the dryer house with two workers injured, said Lawrenceburg Fire Chief Johnnie Tremain.

Aurora Fire was dispatched to the scene at 3:32 p.m. When crews from Lawrenceburg and Greendale arrived they encountered fire throughout the room “on, in and around the dryers. All external fires were extinguished and focus was then made to the internal fires of each dryer which was very time consuming,” said Tremain.

Fire crews were on scene until 1:33 a.m. Tuesday. The dryers are used to dry the grain for the production of alcohol, and are steam fed, said Tremain. “Normally fires are extinguished within the dryer using the steam, but it was ineffective,” he said.

Hampering efforts was the sub-zero weather, when crews were initially dispatched it was -3F by the time they left the scene temperatures were about -7F. “One hydrant was froze, and it was a secondary water source. We set up tanker operations to ensure a secondary water supply,” said Tremain.

Gauges froze up on trucks, and one firefighter may have suffered frostbite, said Tremain, adding hoses started to freeze up as crews began tearing them down once the fires were out.

Because of the need for extra water, as well as the cold, more than 60 firefighters were at the distillery. Another firefighter had what Tremain believes is a hand injury, but everyone else stayed injury free. “Everybody warmed up where ever they could find a spot, in trucks, Aurora’s rehab unit, in buildings,” added Tremain.

Of the injured workers, both were transported by Lawrenceburg Emergency Rescue Unit to Dearborn County Hospital, Lawrenceburg, with burn injuries, and one was later transferred to University of Cincinnati Hospital, said Tremain.

Also assisting: Bright, Dillsboro, Miller-York, Hogan Township, and Rising Sun fire departments; Whitewater Township Fire Department, Ohio; Hebron Fire Department, Kentucky; Dearborn County 911 Dispatch, employees of MGP, City of Lawrenceburg Maintenance Garage.

Last Updated on Tuesday, January 07, 2014 2:20 PM