The McPherson Fire Department and the Kansas State Fire Marshall's Office are conducting an investigation into two fires reported Sunday and Monday at Johns Manville in McPherson that led to millions in estimated damages, said T.J. Wyssmann, deputy chief with the McPherson Fire Department, in a statement.
Two Johns Manville employees at the plant at 1465 17th Ave., were treated for smoke inhalation, but no fire service personnel were injured fighting either fire.
"We expect Johns Manville to have extensive cleanup operations for several days and damages ranging in the
millions of dollars. However, we would direct all questions related to Johns Manville operational status to the JM Public
Information Officer. We also would like to say thank you to all Johns Manville personnel for closely working with
Emergency Services to safely and effectively mitigate these incidents," Wyssmann said. Public information officers with the company had not responded by press time.
The fire department was dispatched for the first time at about 8 a.m. on Sunday. Crews reported heavy smoke and fire on the south side of the warehouse. Crews quickly deployed large attack lines into the structure and extinguished the fire. Because of the large volume of product involvement, overhaul operations were lengthy and extensive, he said.
The department received a second call about a structure fire at 7:02 p.m. on Monday. The first arriving engine company at Johns Manville reported heavy smoke and fire within the east side of the warehouse near the loading docks. Search- and-rescue crews were deployed, but both primary and secondary searches for victims were negative. However, two Johns Manville personnel were treated for smoke inhalation.
Because of the location of the fire, crews had longer hose deployments, but Wyssmann said they brought the fire under control quickly.
"The amount of material once again involved was considerable...It took crews approximately six-and-half hours to overhaul and salvage the fire areas," he said.