Staff File Photo James Smith, a "peeler" with Quality Carpet Cushion, watches a machine cut and roll carpet padding. The fire at the LaFayette company that specializes in manufacturing rebond carpet padding is now said to be under control.
LaFAYETTE, Ga. — Firefighters began leaving Quality Carpet & Cushion around noon today, more than 20 hours after they responded to a four-alarm blaze at the manufacturing facility here.
“Three o’clock yesterday seems like 100 years ago,” said one exhausted firefighter from Walker State Prison’s fire department crew, which was among the agencies sending a total of about 80 fire fighters to the scene.
Employees of the plant, which makes the foam backing for carpeting, were staying on scene to make sure no hot spots flared up.
LaFayette Public Safety Director Tommy Freeman said there were some 2 1/2 million pounds of carpet cushion material inside the plant, and most of it was destroyed.
Mr. Freeman said the building sustained heavy smoke and structural damage, but no dollar estimate of the damage was available at noon today.
Quality Carpet & Cushion operates another facility in LaFayette, but no company official was available at either site to comment on the fire.
Mr. Freeman said firefighters from around the region helped put out the stubborn fire, including crews from East Ridge and the Hamilton County Fire and Rescue.
The fire was believed to have started in a machine being used by employees at the plant about 4 p.m. during the Sunday work shift.
For a complete story, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.