Bio-diesel plant destroyed in fire

Bio-diesel plant destroyed in fire (Image 1)

SUMMITVILLE, Tenn. – A bio-diesel plant in Coffee County was completely destroyed Saturday afternoon after a fire broke out at the facility.

The blaze began around 12:30 p.m. at the Tennessee Bio Energy plant located in Summitville, just outside of Manchester.

“They said they had a spark out of a motor of methanol had sparked and ignited the methanol,” Summitville Fire Department Chief Dwayne Pinegae said.

Authorities said at the time of the blaze there were 30,000 gallons of bio-diesel, 7,000 gallons of glercerin and 6,500 gallons of methanol in the facility.

Crews evacuated dozens of residents within a 500 feet radius due to the potentially toxic fumes.

Rhonda Miller lives across the street.

She told Nashville's News 2 her son, who is employed at the facility, received slight burns on his arm in the incident.

“It's a blessing that he's alright it could have been a lot worse,” Miller said.

More than 200 firefighters and crews from the Manchester Fire Department, Summitville Volunteer Fire Department and Hillsboro Volunteer Fire Department helped battle the flames for six hours.

Officials said despite the plant being a complete loss, no major injuries were reported. 

Residents were allowed back in their homes around 7 p.m. Saturday evening.

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