04/13/18 — Fire at Eastern Aluminum Supply causes road closures, heavy smoke

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Fire at Eastern Aluminum Supply causes road closures, heavy smoke

By Melody Brown-Peyton
Published in News on April 13, 2018 7:04 PM

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Firefighters battle a fire at Eastern Aluminum Supply on Oak Forest Road, which caused the closure of roads around the city.

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A fire engulfs Eastern Aluminum Supply Friday afternoon.

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Billows of smoke blanketed the eastern portion of the city for most of the afternoon as Eastern Aluminum Supply on Oak Forest Road burned.

At 1:30 p.m., calls came in that Aluminum Building Supply, 311 N. Oak Forest Road, was engulfed in flames, and by 2 p.m. multiple fire departments had arrived to the scene and main thoroughfares in the direction of the fire were shut down to traffic.

Ronnie Davis, Aluminum Building Supply branch manager, said employees working in the main warehouse heard "popping noises," and they saw smoke.

Davis said the employees attempted to put out the blaze with a fire extinguisher but quickly realized it could not be controlled and the building was evacuated. All nine employees made it out of warehouse safely.

By the time firefighters arrived, flames were shooting from the roof of the building and billows of dark smoke were pouring out of the facility and along U.S. 70 and Oak Forest Road.

Shortly after the arrival of first responders, people were encouraged to avoid traveling near the building as concerns of potential propane tank explosions loomed. Out of caution and necessity, the roads near the fire were blocked including Oak Forest Road, portions of U.S. 70 and Ash Street.

Traffic in both direction of U.S. 70 was backed up for miles and North Carolina Highway Patrol troopers directed traffic at the intersection of Oak Forest Road, while Goldsboro police directed traffic in the portions of the city.

As motorists were being detoured, firefighters from Goldsboro, Elroy, Belfast, Patetown and Nahunta fire departments were battling a raging fire that threatened neighboring structures.

Their work kept the fire from spreading to a church, Cornerstone Evangelical Presbyterian Church, which is located a short distance away from the company.

Nearly three hours later, firefighters were still at the scene putting out hotspots and maintaining the safety of the area.

A neighboring car dealership, Lee Hyundai, brought first responders cases of bottled water and food as they continued to work the scene. As of 5 p.m., Oak Forest Road was still closed to traffic.

As of press time, interim Goldsboro Fire Chief James Farfour said it was too early to tell what had caused the fire.

"It is too early to tell what caused the blaze," Farfour said.

"And as soon as it's safe for the firefighters to go in, we can begin to determine the cause."