6,000 Residents Urged to Evacuate After a Massive Fire at North Carolina Fertilizer Plant
On Monday, January 31, 2022, a massive fire occurred at the Winston Weaver Fertilizer Company located at 4440 Cherry St, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27105. As of right now, the cause of the fire is still unknown, but the fire department has been in touch with the company that owns the plant.
Emergency responders asked nearly 6,500 residents within a one-mile radius of the fertilizer plant to evacuate. Residents were told not to expect to return home for at least 48 hours. Officials said they urged people to evacuate because of the dangerous fumes coming from the fire, as well as the potential for a large ammonium nitrate explosion. The plant has 600 tons of potentially explosive ammonium nitrate.
Ammonium nitrate is a chemical used to make fertilizers as well as explosives. When the chemical compound burns, it creates a dangerous toxin that can be harmful to humans. As of right now, there are no reports of injuries, but exposure to high concentrations of ammonium nitrate dust can cause coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath, and even suffocation.
The Winston-Salem Fire Department spent two hours battling the fire before pulling back after the blaze spread to a rail car containing ammonium nitrate. Winton-Salem Fire Department Battalion Chief Patrick Grubbs warned of poor air quality and asked that people call 911 only if they are experiencing an emergency.
The fire is still active as of 9:58 am February 1, 2022, and there is still potential for an explosion. A fire truck remains at the back side of the building dousing the fire, but there is no staff there. The department is accessing the scene every 15 to 20 minutes using drone teams to monitor the flames. Because of the possibility, the plant will explode, Chief Grubbs said they do not plan to leave the area any time soon.
The Potts Law Firm is investigating the incident with full force. The firm has extensive experience in fire and chemical exposure cases. If you or a loved one were injured due to the Winston Weaver Fertilizer plant fire on January 31, 2022, you need a lawyer who can help guide you. We will fight to hold all those responsible and get you the compensation you deserve! Contact the Potts Law Firm for a free initial consultation with a lawyer by calling (888) 420-1299 or by contacting us online.