make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

BREAKING NEWS FIRST ON 3: Corning plant fire out. No injuries reported

READ MORE: Fire strikes Corning plant

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.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


new video

i was neer there with some of my friends and i had my camera so i when and got it all on film even some stuff that the reporters missed!!


I live right behind Corning and I heard the explosion and saw the smoke many of you described. It wasn't 20 minutes later that I got a message to my phone from WWAY TWITTER telling me the details. Then I got a couple more messages afterwards updating. I guess because yall don't have news anymore on the weekends its tough but Twitter is pefect for breaking news.

Also thanks to NHR-EMS for

Also thanks to NHR-EMS for their quick response.

Corning Fire

My daady works in the tower 5 draw and is the captain on the team fire baraged he evacuated everybody he just called they still r having a few hot spots poping up and he does not know when he will be home this eveing so please keep those guys in ur thoughts and prayers it will cost about 3 thousands dollars per a day 2 rebuild the damage that was caused and yes they do know who caused the fire 1

disater at corning

My dad works there,and yesterday they told him that today he could be let out for sunday..he works on tower 4.and were trying to get news of if someone was hurt...there's gases and hyrdogen all in that plant....

Corning employees

I am hoping and praying no one has been hurt in this fire.

Corning Fire

@T Miller

Yes they did. My father is an officer for the Fire Department and we have been listening on his portable radio. The fire was under control within 45 minutes. This is attributed to the quality of training and equipment that our firefighters have.

Corning Fire

My husband is at work at this moment at Corning. He did call me to tell me that Corning was on fire around 2:06 p.m. using someone else's cell phone. He called from the parking lot stating he didn't know how bad things were, but that Corning was on fire and that he was o.k. and the employees were in the parking lot. He called back at 2:51 stating that they had been told part of I-40 had been closed, black smoke was rolling out of Corning, and that they were all o.k. The employees had heard that an airplane had flown over and had seen the flames and news was on the internet. I told him that I hadn't heard or seen anything on any Wilmington News channels.

For a while, WWAY was the

For a while, WWAY was the only news organization with any mention of it! Frustrating!

I believe there should be a

I believe there should be a larger concern in question with what's burning and being released into the air.


I know, from some Corning employees, that they use some pretty hazardous chemicals in their manufacturing process. I hope that none of them were mixed in with the fumes, but it smelt horrible. I think Corning needs to make a public statement ASAP about what happened and if there are any precautions we need to take. I live within a stone's throw of the plant and the smoke cloud was pretty thick in my neighborhood. Some of my friends that were driving past Corning during the fire said that their eyes, noses and throats were burning from smelling the smoke. This is pretty scary.

Scary is right

We DO need to be informed. I agree, Corning needs to step up and give us info on the toxicity levels of this fire. I am sure people have gone to the hospital for inhalation, and Corning is responsible. LIABILITY


The plant had a fire and if the situation was of critical concern, HAS-MAT would have set up an emergency treatment and quarantine area. No bi-standards went to the hospital for smoke inhalation and you are why our country is full of lazy bloodsuckers waiting to win the lottery or sue someone for self gratification; not to make a difference! Aside from my rebuttle, I bet you feel like an idiot after the fact being this incident was of no cause for concern.

Corning fire

Here it is now almost 3 and there still is no more news than this. Though off I do work at Corning and there is nothing on TV and basically nothing online. The News orgainzations here in this town are really dropping the ball on this.

you are an idiot sounds to

you are an idiot sounds to me like corning "dropped the ball" not the media!!! if all of their employees are like you know wonder it blew up

you are an idiot

You need to be more compassionate and thank God that no one was hurt in this disaster. These employees are normal people just like you and work very hard to make a living. This fire will affect their income which will affect a lot of people in Wilmington.

I am AMAZED! You would think

I am AMAZED! You would think the news would be all over this.

corning fire

My son just texted me about this fire, he is stuck in traffic near Corning, on College Road and said the fumes are horrible

Corning Fire

When we were coming into Wilmington off of I-40 we saw a massive plume of smoke rise up into the air. Friends nearby said that they had heard a loud explosion of some sort. The cloud was very very black and the air smelled of burning plastic or chemicals. I am extremely surprised at how quickly officials have been able to gain control of this incident. There is hardly any smoke coming from that area now which shows how well all of the emergency departments are handling the situation!

Quick Response

I was impressed with how quickly emergency personel responded, too. We were coming down MLK when we smelled the horrible fumes that were so bad it made your nose burn. Good thing the wind is carrying the fumes away and hopefully the rain (if it rains) will clean up the rest. Thank you local firefighters, police departmant, Corning employees, and others who helped for your service!

Corning Fire

My father is a senior officer for the Wilmington Fire Department and we have been following the fire on his portable radio. The fire was under control in roughly 45 minutes. This is attributed to the exceptional training and equipment our fire department has received.

Corning Fire

I just want to say Thank You for the quick response from everyone! I did not hear from my husband for several hours b/c he he had to find someone with a phone and I was very worried b/c I know that my husband works a lot in Tower 5. And when he called he said that he was infact working in tower 5 when it caught on fire. So once again I want to thank Corning and WFD for the excellent training they do to keep the community safe.

Corning Fire

Not to mention the fine Motorola radio and communications system that kept them safe while inside the plant fighting the fire

Corning Fire

One plus in this situation is that Corning has their own fire dept.

Yes they do have the fire

Yes they do have the fire bagaed there they r workin very hard 2 keep the hot spots down and some fire fighters that work with the corning fire bagaed r tryin not 2 inhale the smoke