Fire at 2524 S. Sprigg - Jan. 25, 2019
Posted on 01/28/2019
At 8:10 p.m. on Jan. 25, all Cape Girardeau Fire Department units were called for a fire at Buzzi Unicem Alternative Fuels facility. The first-arriving battalion chief found a semi-truck and trailer in the fuel unloading area with light smoke showing. The sprinkler system had activated and was flowing foam in the unloading area. A small fire was observed from the top of the semi-trailer that contained waste oil. The engine companies who arrived on scene set up for a foam operation to extinguisher the fire coming from the semi-trailer. The fire was extinguished in approximately 15 minutes and overhaul operations began. The waste oil product and foam was held in a containment area and did not pose any environmental or life safety concerns.

 The Alternative Fuels facility uses used waste oils to power the Buzzi Unicem plant replacing the need for the plant to run entirely on coal thus increasing the energy efficiency of their operation. Prior to this fire, Alternative Fuels has participated in numerous tours and drills with the Cape Girardeau FD and the Regional Homeland Security Response Team. These drills and tours saved valuable time in the early recognition of the hazards associated with the facility. The actions and cooperation of Alternative Fuels employees with local emergency personnel during the drills allowed for an effective, efficient, and safe operation during this actual emergency.

Crews remained on scene while Buzzi Unicem personnel inspected the unloading equipment and the trailer. Crews remained committed for another 45 minutes to monitor the trailer for further fires and to return equipment to service.

Cape Girardeau FD responded with 17 personnel, 2 battalion chiefs, 4 engines, and 1 ladder truck. Scott City FD provided 3 personnel and 1 engine for on scene safety. Mutual aid was received from Jackson Fire-Rescue, Scott City FD, East County Fire Protection District, and the Gordonville Fire Protection District. Jackson Fire and recalled Cape FD personnel responded to 2 medical emergencies during the fire.

Due to below-freezing temperatures, fire operations produced ice, causing slip hazards.

Damage type: Fire and smoke
Damage extent: Moderate
Estimated dollar loss: $50,000
Smoke detectors and sprinkler system activated: Yes