Huge fire burns at Wayne County industrial facility, sending smoke for miles

Anthony Wilson Image
Saturday, February 11, 2023
Huge fire burns at Wayne County industrial facility
A huge fire broke out overnight at an industrial facility in Dudley, with flames "three stories tall" and with smoke visible for miles.

DUDLEY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A huge fire broke out overnight at a Wayne County industrial facility with smoke visible for miles.

The 911 call came in just before 1:30 a.m. Saturday, regarding a major fire at National Salvage and Service Corp. at 430 Old Mount Olive Highway in Dudley.

A passerby saw the fire and told dispatchers the flames were three stories high.

There are 17 fire departments at the scene, including those from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Goldsboro Fire Department, and numerous volunteer departments.

The Wayne County Sheriff's Office, Wayne County EMS, NC State Highway Patrol, NC Department of Transportation, and Red Cross are also at the scene.

Raw video: Chopper 11 flies over huge fire in Wayne County

The North Carolina Forest Service conducted air drops to assist with the firefighting efforts.

First responders remained at the scene Saturday afternoon. A Wayne County official said that because o the nature of the fuel load, operations are in a defensive status. Firefighters are working to protect exposures and surrounding property.

Old Mount Olive Highway and a portion of Genoa Road between US-117 and Old Mount Olive Highway remain closed, and motorists are advised to avoid the area if possible.

Duke Energy and Tri-County Electric have responded to shut off power to the facility, and all surrounding water districts were notified due to increased water needs for firefighting efforts. Notice was provided to CSX to re-route trains during the response.

"We want to thank the many individuals and organizations who have brought supplies for our first responders who have been on the scene since early this morning," said Joel Gillie, Wayne County Public Affairs Director. "Many of today's responders are volunteers, and the outpouring of support for those responding has been incredible."

Crews had to bring in tanker trucks full of water which, once drained, returned with much more throughout the day.

"We let all the water districts know that we were going to be using a lot of water, so they were able to up their pressures," Gillie said. "So, no, no supply concerns."

The cause of the fire is not yet known. No injuries were reported, officials say.

The National Salvage site is a large industrial facility that houses railroad ties.

While the inferno looks bad, authorities said it missed nearby buildings.

"A lot of railroad tie," Gillie said. "So those, naturally are creating a lot of fire and a lot of smoke, the good thing is right now, it is contained to that original site."

The thick smoke's also fueled questions about the possible effects on air quality for people with respiratory issues.

Gillie said the county has reached out to State Emergency Management and at last check, had no indication of any breathing problems. He also said that at this point, they'd appreciate a little rain.

As of 11:00 p.m. the fire was contained by first responders.

Relief Efforts Underway

The community response is being felt by first responders from almost 30 different agencies working to keep people and property safe.

As the fire continued to burn into the evening hours community members started a relief effort to show their support.

"Being able to bring out waters and snacks or sandwiches for the guys who are out here nonstop to fight this fire." said Stephanie Booker. "It's just the little things that you can do to help."

Booker said her husband is first responder and feels that it's her duty as a community member to get out and help other first responders who help so many.

"Being out for 12+ hours fighting a fire, you don't get that break that everybody else does as an 8 to 5 or a 9 to 5 job," she said. "Love on other people. Help other people. Because that's the right thing to do"

A huge fire broke out overnight at an industrial facility in Dudley, with flames "three stories tall" and with smoke visible for miles.