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Fire at Kentucky manufacturing plant injures 4

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The four workers are burned and transported to hospitals
  • The cause of the fire is under investigation

(CNN) -- A flash fire ripped through a charcoal manufacturing plant in southern Kentucky on Friday, injuring four workers, company and rescue officials said.

Roughly 115 employees were at the Kingsford Manufacturing plant, which was undergoing routine maintenance work at the time of the fire, according to Jeff Stockham, operations manager.

Four employees suffered serious burns and were transported to hospitals, he said. Stockham added that he had spoken with three of them before they left and that all were able to recognize him.

According to Tom Burkenpas, plant manager, the four men were working on top of silos above the charcoal storage area when a strong wind kicked up debris from below and sparked a fire. He called the incident a "freak accident."

Stockham also said the fire probably started in the storage area, though the cause of the blaze is under investigation.

Three of the victims were taken to the University of Kentucky Hospital Burn Unit, while one went to the University of Louisville Hospital, said Burkenpas.

The first report on the fire came in shortly before noon, said a clerk at the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department. The plant is located in southern Kentucky, outside the city of Burnside.

CNN's Cheryl August contributed to this report.