Lexington, SC 11/25/2022 (Paul Kirby) – A fire at Michelin’s Automotive Tire Plant kept county firefighters busy Thanksgiving evening. The fire was reported shortly after 6:00 p.m. bringing equipment and personnel from across central Lexington County.
When the first county fire crews arrived, they were met by plant security who directed them to where the plant’s Safety Team was assembling. Once they conferred with that team, they were told that a fire had started in the basement of the facility. The first crews reported they had nothing visible from their vantage point. They joined Michelin personnel and entered the building to began a size up of the situation.
While the first arriving crews were being led to the fire, a reporter with The Ledger had arrived on scene and stationed himself on the Longs Pond Road side of the facility to get a good vantage point to watch as the situation unfolded. He reported that as he watched from a distance, he saw flames suddenly leaping from the roof of the building. A Lexington County fire truck responding from their Lake Murray Fire Station who had come up Pisgah Church Road stopped adjacent to the reporter after they spotted what was now four or five spots the fire was coming from the roof. They radioed the command team and reported this was happening.
Although the fire had started low in the plant, it had accessed the ductwork in the building and was running that ducting to the roof vents. The crews inside the plant began working with plant maintenance to cut all the ventilation fans that were helping to feed the fire. Once all of these were off, the fire was put out at its origin.
It took some time for Michelin’s and Lexington County’s crews to ensure that all the fire was out, and the smoke was clear of the building. One Michelin employee stated that they were given the all clear to reenter the building after 11:00 p.m. Thursday night.
The cause of this fire has not been released.