WILMINGTON, NC -- UPDATED 7:00PM:
Thick black smoke covered the sky for miles across Wilmington Sunday afternoon. Overheating due to a manufacturing malfunction just before 2:00 caused a fire to break out at the Corning Plant located at 310 N. College Road. It then quickly spread to the roof of tower 5 where it escalated.
The Corning fire brigade were first on the scene, when they called the Wilmington Fire Department for back-up. About 12 fire trucks from the Wilmington and New Hanover County Fire Departments rushed to the scene and were able to put out the blaze in just over an hour.
College Rd was closed for just over a mile in front of the scene to MLK Parkway due to thick black smoke. Area residents were concerned about a “bitter strong smell” that could be smelled from inside their homes.
According to the Wilmington Fire Department, no hazardous materials were involved in the fire. Instead, much of the insulation on the roof was the source of the flames.
No injuries were reported in the fire. The factory itself suffered some damage to the roof and to the immediate area in tower 5.
A Corning spokeswoman said employees were at work in other parts of the plant Sunday evening. Production is not expected to suffer major setbacks.
Photo courtesy of Todd Volkstorf.