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Fire Marshal: Sprinkler system helps limit fire damage at Mooresville, N.C. WestRock facility
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (From news reports) -- A fire at the WestRock facility in Mooresville on June 12 was controlled by the fire sprinkler system, limiting damage to a single piece of production equipment and raw cardboard material near the fire's location, Fire Marshal Geoff Woolard reported in a news release. Still, the damage could be up to $2 million.

An investigation determined the fire to be accidental in nature due to an accumulation of cardboard dust in the equipment that ignited, the release stated. There were 30 employees working in the building at the time of the fire and all were evacuated safely.

Mooresville Fire-Rescue was dispatched to the fire at WestRock just before 1 a.m. They arrived eight minutes later and discovered the sprinkler had contained the fire to a piece of equipment that feeds blank sheets of cardboard into a printing and cutting process, the release states. Once the fire was under control, firefighters provided assistance as WestRock safety and maintenance team members removed exterior panels of the equipment to confirm the fire had been fully extinguished, the release stated.

The damage to the processing equipment may be $2 million.

The building, all equipment and raw materials are expected to be worth $150 million, according to company officials. There are 130 employees of the business.

"The safety team at WestRock did an excellent job of initially using fire extinguishers to try to put out the fire and quickly evacuating their co-workers to safety," Woolard stated in a news release. "The outcome this morning was a great example of why fire sprinklers in any building protect life and property. Because of this 'sprinkler save' the company will have minimal downtime with no loss of jobs as a direct result of the fire."

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