Fire crews battle molten glass flow at Libbey Glass plant

At least two dozen Shreveport police and fire units responded to a two-alarm blaze at Libbey Glass on Saturday night.

A hole the size of a sport utility vehicle in one of furnaces that holds molten glass was the cause of the problem, as fire crews were still battling at 10 p.m., nearly two hours after responding to the call, Shreveport fire spokesman Brian Crawford said."The molten glass has not caused a fire, it's more like a lava flow," he said. "It's going down into the basement where it's collecting."

The plant was evacuated and fire crews were pumping gallons of water onto the molten glass in an effort to cool it and seal up the breech in the furnace, Crawford said, adding that no one was injured.

Dozens of employees milled around outside the plant watching as fire trucks swarmed the area, setting up lights and running hoses from hydrants on Jewella Avenue to work to cool the glass, which Crawford said he expected to take several more hours.

Libbey Glass personnel refused to provide any information about the blaze.

"(Firefighters) are inside ... putting copious amounts of water on the container and where the glass is collecting," he said. "Cooling it is the only way it will harden. ... It's going to be a long task."

The numerous firefighters will be carefully monitored to ensure they are safe in the hazardous situation, Crawford said.

"The biggest danger right now is that it's extremely hot in the room where the container is in," he said.

"When you pour water on it, it creates a large amount of steam. We're keeping a close eye on them."

600450 Fire crews battle molten glass flow at Libbey Glass plant
Date: 25 April 2005

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