CLERMONT-FERRAND, France (Jan. 25, 2000) — Group Michelin has resumed production at its Cataroux tire factory in Clermont-Ferrand after firefighters were able to extinguish a fire that broke out the evening of Jan. 20 in the plant´s rubber storage area.
Tire production at the car, truck, motorcycle and OTR tire plant was interrupted briefly that evening as power to the factory was cut for an hour, but production in the plant´s compounding area was halted until the evening of the Jan. 21 because of its proximity to the storage area.
Firefighters reported having the blaze fully under control the morning of the 22nd. Full production resumed the morning of the 24th after the weekend break.
In all, some 500 firefighters were called in to battle the blaze, which consumed most of 1,300 metric tons of synthetic rubber in an underground storage area.
Six injured firefighters—three from local fire brigades and three from Michelin´s own factory force—were treated and released from local hospitals, the company said.
Michelin has not released estimates as to the damage. The fire spewed huge clouds of black smoke into the air, but the local fire brigade and Michelin said there was no toxic risk for employees or the local population.
The company employs 8,000 at the 79-year-old plant, one of five tire plants the company operates in Clermont-Ferrand.