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Fire at LM Wind Power forces evacuation of 75

A hazardous leak and fire sends employees out of a Little Rock manufacturer. It happened at LM Wind Power Wednesday morning where quick action help contain the flammable liquid.

Instead of spending their lunch hour getting something to eat LM Wind Power employees stood around in the heat.

Little Rock police say a 55-gallon drum containing the flammable and highly explosive liquid methyl ethyl ketone peroxide leaked and smoked. Employees grabbed a fire extinguisher and then called the Little Rock Fire Department to the plant at 8000 Frazier Pike.

“It’s a very significant response,” Hastings says. “Luckily we have very good equipment here with the fire department to take care of situations like this and even bigger situations.”

LM Wind Power director of safety John Forrester says 75 employees evacuated the plant.

“It’s been isolated without any further damage, the fire department is being very cautious about their approach,” Forrester says. “I’m not sure when we’ll reopen at this time.”

Police say the chemical is both an eye and skin irritant but the bigger threat for hazmat crews is the heat. An ambulance responding onsite but wasn’t needed.

“The firemen can only be in there about 15-20 minutes then they have to come out and cool down,” Hastings says. “We’re trying to get enough men here to make that process go a little quicker.”

A few hours later, the chemical leak was totally cleaned up.

The company makes blades for wind turbines used to generate electricity.