Fire Breaks Out At Carbide Industries

Click photos to enlarge. All photos courtesy of WHAS11.

A fire broke out at Carbide Industries’ Louisville, KY, plant Monday, March 21, around 5:40 p.m. The incident claimed the lives of 2 workers, who were identified as 59-year-old Steven Nichols and 56-year-old Jorge Medina. Nichols and Medina worked in the plant’s furnace department. Two other individuals were treated for injuries and released from the hospital Monday night. In all, 17 workers were inside the plant at the time of the fire.

City officials have not determined the cause of the fire, which occurred in the building where Carbide Industries uses electricity to heat chemicals to 3800 degrees. Due to the presence of calcium carbide, fire crews were not able to use water to extinguish the fire inside the plant, as it produces acetylene gas when combined with the chemical. After containing the fire, respondents allowed the fire to burn itself out. The contained fire was still burning as of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

GAWDA Executive Director John Ospina speaks on behalf of the entire GAWDA membership, “We will keep all of the workers and those impacted by the fire in our thoughts and prayers during the days ahead.”

According to officials, no hazardous materials were released as a result of the incident. A precautionary warning to nearby residents has since been deemed unnecessary. As details become available, GAWDA Media will work to deliver the most up-to-date information, through GAWDAwiki and Welding and Gases Today, in conjunction with social media, via Twitter, blogs and LinkedIn.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association