Massive Fire at North Carolina Fertilizer Plant Triggers Mass Evacuation

A massive uncontrolled fire at the Winston Weaver Company fertilizer plant caused mass evacuations in and around Winston Salem, North Carolina on Monday evening. There is no indication on what caused the fire and, fortunately, there have been no report of injuries at this time.

The main cause for concern is the large volume of ammonium nitrate on the property. It is estimated that approximately 500 tons of the combustible chemical used in fertilizer is housed at the plant and another 100 tons are in a rail car adjacent to it. The vapors from decomposing ammonium nitrate during a fire are extremely toxic and have the potential to explode.

Due to the burning of this dangerous chemical and potential for a large explosion, on Monday evening, authorities drove through neighborhoods and knocked on doors asking residents to leave within a one-mile radius of the fire. The evacuation area included about 6,500 people in 2,500 homes.

SMB is among the Nation’s leaders in fire litigation and has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for victims of fires.  SMB’s attorneys have spent tens of thousands of hours working on dozens of fire cases, including representing victims of:

  • The Grenfell Tower apartment fire, which killed 72 people;
  • The Conception Dive Boat fire, which killed 34 people; and
  • The Barclay Friends Fire, which killed 4 people.

The workplace accident attorneys at Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky are standing by and available for commentary as the situation develops.

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