Worker hurt in explosion, fire at Catawba County plant, firefighters say

CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. — Dozens of firefighters were called to a Catawba County plant early Wednesday after reports of an explosion and fire.

Crews were dispatched around 8 a.m. to International Cushioning Co. on NC Highway 10, just south of Hickory.

Investigators said the explosion involved a piece of equipment called a grinding machine inside the plant.

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Channel 9's Dave Faherty was the first reporter on the scene and could see employees outside who had been evacuated.

Firefighters told him a worker inside the plant was treated by EMS following the explosion. There was no immediate word on that person's condition though.

The sprinkler system was activated and the fire was out by 8:30 a.m.

“We found it was an explosion inside a piece of machinery inside the facility," said deputy fire marshal Jennifer Lowrance. "The fire was quickly knocked down and contained by the fire brigade here on site, and firefighters here as well. The sprinkler system activated which helped control the fire.”

According to its website, the company makes packing materials like cardboard, bubble wrap and foam.

The plant was closed for the day following the incident officials said.

Check back with wsoctv.com for updates on this story.

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