PONTOTOC COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- The American Furniture plant near in Ecru is no stranger to devastating fires.
Just as the sun was rising Friday morning, so were huge clouds of black smoke.
Fire crews spent most of their day battling the large blaze at the manufacturing plant.
“When I arrived on scene it was just in my mindset that no one is going to the hospital today,” said Pontotoc Fire Chief Lance Martin. “Everybody is going to come home, we’re going to get way ahead of this thing.”
Chief Martin said as his department began fighting the massive fire, they were confident because they had one important thing on their side, experience.
“My staff got together a plan, they executed it to perfection and kept it out of what they call their kit building, and I do believe they are going to be up and operating as early as today if not tomorrow possibly,” said Martin.
A decade ago, Martin and most of his current crew battled another fire at the manufacturing plant.
“Myself and five others were caught in what we call a flash-over collapse, the fire chief recalled. “We were doing a lot of the same operations we were trying to do this year. We did not have a large enough hose line, and didn’t have enough manpower inside that to get it done. We were trying to shut some fire doors and the building began to collapse, and it’s just sent a giant basically wall of fire our direction, and we had to evacuate immediately.”
The fire chief said some of the biggest lessons they learned from that fire were knowing how to approach a fire of this magnitude, knowing all of the resources needed to put out the blaze, and how to quickly get them on scene.
“The biggest thing is the water supply,” Martin expressed. “Getting that they’re in a timely manner in which it did.”
The fire was completely put out by late Friday evening and no injuries were reported.
“I’ve always said that my staff makes me look good,” Chief Martin explained. “They put together a plan, they executed it. Minimal orders were given out. Only a couple times was I worried about, OK are some guys really getting a little bit too aggressive here with this, and no they were not. They showed me they knew exactly what they’re doing.”
American Furniture announced Plant two will resume operations tomorrow morning.