A fire and explosion occurred in the Thermal Oil Room just before 2 a.m. on May 7 at Louisiana-Pacific’s Clarke County, Alabama, Oriented Strand Board (OSB) mill. Emergency and fire units responded to the incident, and four employees were transported to Mobile, Ala., for medical treatment.
All other night-shift employees working at the site at the time of the incident have been accounted for, and the fire was extinguished about 3:45 a.m.
Jeff Wagner, executive vice president, OSB, said, “The safety and welfare of our employees and their families is our primary concern. The families of the injured employees are with them. Everyone at our Clarke County mill, and all of LP, is thinking of these co-workers and their families and wishing them well and a speedy recovery. Safety is paramount at LP. Production at the mill has stopped, we have secured affected areas and are conducting a thorough investigation into this incident to determine the root causes and ensure the ongoing safety of all of our people. It is too early in the process to know what caused the fire and explosion, but we will provide updates as we learn more.”
CEO Rick Frost said, “This unfortunate incident is of great concern to us, as safety is the foundation of LP culture and values, and we have made great strides in safety over the last 10 years. We believe that no one should ever get hurt working at our company. I have sent a team of safety, human resource, operations and engineering managers from Nashville to offer any needed support to the injured employees, their families, and the rest of our crew at Clarke County. They will begin the investigation into the cause of the explosion and fire immediately.”
LP’s new Clarke County mill manufactures OSB sheathing, a structural panel used primarily in residential construction, and has an annual production capacity of 750 million square feet. The facility started production earlier this year and employs 138 people.
LP, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., is a premier supplier of building products, manufacturing innovative, high-quality commodity and specialty products to its retail, wholesale, homebuilding and industrial customers.