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March 18. 2013 9:11PM

Dust causes fire in Rochester industrial plant

ROCHESTER - Firefighters spent hours extinguishing a first alarm fire within a large duct system in a manufacturing facility in Gonic Monday afternoon.

Police, firefighters and emergency personnel responded at 1:11 p.m. after dust inside the ductworks caused a fire at Spaulding Composites Inc. at 55 Nadeau Drive, according to Fire Chief Norm Sanborn.

"There were smoldering fires throughout the ducts," Sanborn said, adding firefighters used inspection doors to extinguish the hot spots in 300 feet of ducts.

Sanborn said the first alarm fire recalled firefighters from Rochester while calling in assistance from Dover and Durham, including a rapid intervention team as a precaution. All of the employees were able to safely evacuate from the building and none of the workers or firefighters sustained injuries from the fire, according to Sanborn.

Sanborn said the employees were sent home because it took hours to inspect the system. He added the fire was under control at 2:41 p.m., but as of 6 p.m., some firefighters remained at the scene to help maintenance crews inspect and clean the system.

"There's still some areas which are still smoldering now," Sanborn said, adding it will take time to ensure the fire is out and doesn't rekindle in the ducts.

Spaulding Composites manufactures a variety of components for heavy equipment, air tools, cryogenics, bearing retainers and other specialty items.

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