A Thursday evening wood chip pile fire at GoBox was brought under control without causing significant damage, according to officials.
Lowndes County Fire Services Coordinator Sammy Fondren said firefighters contained the fire at the plant, located in the Lowndes County Industrial Park off Highway 82, though the wood chip pile was still smoldering when they left at about 10 p.m. The fire was reported at about 4 p.m.
GoBox President Rob Graham said the fire didn’t cause additional property damage.
GoBox offers a variety of services, including portable industrial/commercial storage units, portable office spaces, personal moving and storage solutions, portable toilets and compactor waste services.
Graham said the company recycles wood products and converts them into chips as a fuel product. The pile may have naturally ignited from extended heat exposure and dry conditions, he added.
“It would have been sitting there building heat for a long time,” Fondren said. “That pile is two or three stories tall. Anything deep in there would have been building heat for a long time.”
Fondren said firefighters from the Districts 2, 3, 4 and 5 volunteer fire departments responded to the scene, with assistance from Columbus Fire and Rescue. He said Columbus Air Force Base provided a water tanker.
Volunteer firefighters and GoBox employees used excavators to dig into the pile and contain the fire.
Fondren said no injuries have been reported in the incident.
Responder efforts saved roughly 80 percent of the wood chips in the pile, Graham said.
“We’re just glad that we’ve got the volunteers and they came out to help us,” he said. “…We were fortunate.”
Alex Holloway was formerly a reporter with The Dispatch.
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