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Crews put out large fire at hardwood flooring manufacturer in Crossville; no injuries reported

The fire department said an 80-foot silo filled with sawdust caught fire at 6:15 a.m. Pressure later caused an explosion at the top of the silo.

CROSSVILLE, Tenn — The Crossville Fire Department's fire chief said crews responded to a fire at a hardwood flooring manufacturer early Wednesday morning starting around 6:15 a.m.

Crews said an 80-foot silo filled with sawdust at Crossville Hardwoods had caught fire. Despite crews' efforts to put out the flames, the silo got hotter as the day went on. They said at around 10 a.m. pressure in the silo caused an explosion towards the top.

As a result, crews are expected to stay there for several more hours. The fire is located at 656 Interstate Drive. Chief Chris South said that around 50 firefighters were still on the scene as of Wednesday night.

He said a spark towards the bottom of the silo heated up and caused a spark, causing pressure to build toward the top as the fire continued. After the explosion, the fire caught dry patches of sawdust again.

"Since that time, we have been working aggressively to overhaul, dig out the rest of the fire that is in this large structure. In talking to maintenance and staff here at the plant, the structure was probably 60% full of dry sawdust, so it has been a very difficult task since then," he said.

He said crews used around 100,000 gallons of water as of Wednesday night to extinguish the fire, depleting all of their resources.

Several other departments are responding to the fire too, according to fire chief South. He said they include the Cumberland County Fire Department and mutual aid from Putnam County and White County.

No injuries were reported as of Wednesday night. Thursday night, they said the fire was totally out. Fire officials said it could have started after some equipment overheated inside a storage structure.

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