Utah-Large Plant Fire in Lindon/Orem
Two-alarm fire disrupts holiday
Anna Chang-Yen DAILY HERALD
A two-alarm fire damaged the Sunroc Corporation's Lindon plant on Thursday.
The Pleasant Grove Fire Department responded around 12:55 p.m. to the fire inside the 100,000-square-foot building, said Chief Mark Hales. The Orem Fire Department was called to assist about 20 minutes later, said Battalion Chief Andy Byrnes.
Thirty-five firefighters, two trucks and two fire engines, including a ladder, fought the fire for about two hours before it was stopped about two-thirds of the way through the building, Hales said. The blaze was contained by 3:20 p.m.
No one was believed to be inside the building, and no one was injured, he said.
The fire started in the northwest part of the building, where insulation and pickup trucks were being stored.
"We have no idea what caused the fire," Hales said, adding that the Utah Fire Marshal's Office will investigate.
Sunroc supplies sand, gravel, asphalt and other building products to residential builders.
Brent Smith, vice president for business operations for Clyde Companies Inc., which owns Sunroc, said most of the materials inside the building were destroyed. "It looks like it's going to be pretty much a total loss of the materials inside the building," he said.
Insulation and 10 or 11 pickup trucks used to transport the insulation, saws and other pieces of equipment were lost in the fire, Smith said, but several forklifts appeared unharmed. Completed trusses and raw lumber used to make them was stored outside the building and was not damaged, but lumber stored inside the building may have been lost. "This'll have a big impact on our ability to supply our customers who depend on us."
Hales said the structure is likely salvageable. "It's not a total loss. We saved a tremendous amount."
Smith said company officials will begin to assess the prospect of saving the building today. The plant had recently been running at full capacity because the housing market "has been red-hot."
The building was formerly a steel plant run by Mountainland Steel, and has stood for more than 25 years, Smith said. Sunroc opened there more than two years ago.
Hales said the building was not equipped with a sprinkler system.
The plant had been shut down for the Thanksgiving holiday, and "to our knowledge, there was no one inside," Smith said.
Hales characterized the fire as particularly hot and said small explosions and the large amount of electricity running through the building, used to operate heavy machinery, had kept crews fighting the fire from the outside. "When we arrived, there was nobody in there, so we just went defensive from the start because of the explosions and not knowing exactly what we had inside." Water was pumped from a ladder into the building through the roof.
Smith said some of the panels on the top of the building had to be knocked out to get water in.
The main power disconnect was located near the center of the building, which caused delays, Hales said.
Utah Power was slow to respond, he said. They arrived on the scene at about 3 p.m., after crews had been fighting the fire for more than two hours.
Utah Power Spokeswoman Margaret Oler said it was a "normal after-hours holiday call out." A "troubleshooter" from American Fork responded to the call, and it may have taken longer than the regular response time, she said. "He would have to get his equipment and come down."
Hales commended the firefighters for giving up their holiday to help out. "Most of the guys haven't had their Thanksgiving dinner yet, but they're here doing their job."