>> Sunday, November 30, 2008

We got a call around 1 a.m. Sunday morning from our neighbor Carolyn, who lives farther up the mountain. There was a fire at the Unimin Quartz Mine down the hill from us, she said, and we were being ordered to evacuate. I hurriedly woke the girls, we threw together some clothes and some things to do should we be forced to be away from home for more than one night, and hit the road for a motel in Marion, about a half an hour from where we live.

There was nothing online about the fire before we left, but by the time we had gotten to our motel the Asheville Citizen-Times had already posted something:

Residents within four miles of the Unimin plant near Spruce Pine have been ordered to evacuate after a "major fire" broke out at the facility Saturday night.

The fire continued to burn early Sunday morning.

The plant, which mines quartz products, is located about two miles north of Spruce Pine on N.C. 226.

"It's been a major fire," Spruce Pine Mayor Ralph Hise said.

Fire departments from at least four counties, including Avery, Mitchell, Yancey and Burke, have responded to the blaze.

Residents on the Bakersville side of the blaze have been told to evacuate to Bowman Middle School, and emergency operations were still being set up on the south side near Spruce Pine.

Spruce Pine government officials were gathering at town hall at 1:15 a.m. Sunday to determine their response to the evacuation. Downtown Spruce Pine, including the town hall, fall within the four-mile evacuation radius.

Kudos to the Asheville C-T for hopping on this one so quickly.

When we went to the car, the air was thick with smoke and the smell of chemicals--which is, I'm assuming, the real reason for a four-mile-radius evacuation. The scary thing is, if we didn't know Carolyn, our neighbor up the hill, we might never have known. We couldn't even find anything about it on the radio, scanning up and down both the AM and FM dials.

We're safely ensconced in the motel now, and I really should get some sleep. More updates as I get them -

UPDATE: The fire has been contained, and miraculously no one was injured. We were allowed back to our home the following morning, although emergency vehicles still lined the highway outside the plant.


Post a Comment

Hello! Thanks for dropping by our blog. Feel free to agree or disagree with us, or just chime in with moral support. We leave most everything, but we of course reserve the right to delete anything that's needlessly nasty, profane, or spam. Now, if you'll just insert your two cents into the slot below...

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Read Alan's archived newsletters here.

Blog Archive

Swell Stuff

My Etsy Favorites

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP