Hampton Firefighters Douse Two Blazes

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Small Blaze Damages Beach Motel

By Susan Morse

Hampton Union, Friday, September 14, 2007

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

HAMPTON -- Hampton firefighters quickly extinguished a fire at Foss Manufacturing Company LLC early Thursday afternoon.

The fire started in an industrial oven and spread to the duct work and ignited residual fibers there, according to Fire Prevention Officer Jonathan True.

The oven is used to coat fabrics, according to Foss spokesman Jim Magruder, one of the plant's owners.

There were two minor injuries to civilians who were treated at the scene, said True.

The employees inhaled some smoke and were kept under observation, said Magruder. One of the men, Charlie Manns, was back at work that afternoon, he said.

The two employees were on the operating line at the time of the combustion, said Magruder. They took the appropriate operational actions, he said, by shutting down the machine, sounding the fire alarm and evacuating the building.

The fire was in the main building of the Route 1 plant in downtown Hampton. Foss produces engineered non-woven fabrics and specialty products.

Smoke could be seen coming from the building when firefighters arrived. It presented no severe toxic hazard, True said. Employees were evacuated on the initial activation of the alarm.

"We were at lunch and smoke was coming out of the back building," said one man who declined to give his name.

The fire was contained to the duct work and was extinguished. The call came in at 12:53 p.m. and firefighters deemed the incident done by 4:15 p.m.

There is repair work to be done, True said. Foss officials, he said, will continue production in other sections though.

"We were back up and running at 98 percent by 3 p.m., due to the teamwork of the Foss people," said Magruder. "I'm real pleased at how the Foss team came together." Magruder also praised the Hampton Fire Department for its quick response.

True expected to return to the scene Thursday afternoon to look around the oven for a cause. True said the fire did not seem suspicious.

Minor fire in apartment at beach motel

HAMPTON -- A small fire inside a studio apartment at The Puritan Inn on Wednesday caused no serious damage, the owner said.

The fire broke out around 4:30 p.m. at the motel located at 109 Ocean Blvd. The motel recently closed following the summer season.

Owner Shakti Menta said the small fire was started by a stove that was accidentally turned on in a bottom-floor apartment. Only a wall was slightly damaged by the water that was used to put out the fire, he said.

— Jason Schreiber

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