Investigator: Friction caused fire in Bibb diaper plant machinery

lfabian@macon.comApril 24, 2014 

When a newly made diaper fails to meet company standards, it is recycled at the First Quality plant in south Bibb County.

Wednesday evening, a fire started in one of the units that breaks down the material for reuse, said Macon-Bibb County fire investigator Steve Wesson.

“The material is blown into the product reclaiming system, and it built up enough friction to combust,” Wesson said.

Although the fire was contained inside the oven-like unit, it was difficult to get to and extinguish. Firefighters were battling the fire from about 6:30 until about 11 p.m., Wesson said.

Several units responded because of the potential for the fire to spread like last year’s blaze at the Pactiv plant near the airport.

At least one crew spent Wednesday night at the facility on Industrial Highway.

The building sustained water and smoke damage, and some of the diapers ready for shipment might have to be discarded, he said.

An inquiry to the company about the damage was not immediately answered.

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