By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Crews battle isolated fire at Savannah River Mill
One contractor slightly hurt fighting fire at Georgia-Pacific
05.08 g-p fire 2
An Effingham County fire truck makes its way through the front gate en route to the fire at the Savannah River Mill. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

A contractor at Georgia-Pacific’s Savannah River Mill was injured slightly as G-P crews and local fire departments battled a fire at the mill Wednesday afternoon.

The fire, in a remote area of the mill, began around 12:30 p.m., according to Brent Howell, the Savannah River Mill’s environmental, safety and health manager.

“The fire was in an isolated area in our waste paper operations,” he said.

The fire was outside the mill, and no Georgia-Pacific employees were hurt as a result.

The contractor employee who was hurt injured his knee while handling a fire hose. An emergency response team from the mill was called in, and units from the Effingham County, Guyton, Springfield and Rincon fire departments also were dispatched.

“The fire is contained,” Howell said late Wednesday afternoon. “But they are still working to extinguish it.”

Cardboard that is recycled caught fire, but Howell did not want to speculate as to how the blaze started.

“We’re still investigating that,” he said.

The mill’s emergency response teams receive training in fire fighting, hazardous materials handling, CPR and rescue, Howell said. There are about 15-20 ERT members per crew.

It also caused a loss of power to the mill, shutting down operations. The fire burned through a tie-in line with Georgia Power, Howell said.

“We produce our own power,” he said. “We lost power, and we don’t know why.”

Georgia-Pacific had restored power late Wednesday afternoon and was working to resume mill operations.

The mill employs about 1,200 workers, and there were about 600-800 employees on the site when the fire broke out. There are no Georgia-Pacific employees in that area of the Savannah River Mill, Howell said.

Employees, contractors and trucks continued to enter and leave the mill grounds in a normal fashion as the fire was being fought.