UPDATED: Firefighters extinguish fire at Genpak plastics facility in Cedar City

CEDAR CITY — A two-alarm fire burned at the Genpak plastics facility in Cedar City Saturday afternoon, triggering a response that included more than 50 firefighters from multiple agencies.

Updated 5:30 p.m. with further details, fire extinguished. Video and gallery of photos added.

Shortly before 2 p.m., firefighters were dispatched to the Genpak West Plant, 2971 W. Highway 56, on a report of a fire in a storage area in the northwest corner of the building. The room reportedly housed large rolls of plastic sheeting used in the manufacturing of food storage containers.

Fire companies from Parowan, Kanarraville, Paragonah, Brian Head, Hurricane and St. George joined the Cedar City Fire Department in responding to the incident Saturday afternoon. At least nine fire engines were seen at the scene, including three ladder trucks.

Highway 56 was closed to traffic between Cross Hollow Road and N. Airport Road for more than two hours, with Cedar City Police, Utah Highway Patrol troopers and Utah Department of Transportation crews assisting with traffic control.

Genpak employees who had safely evacuated the building were seen gathered out on the front lawn outside the facility before being permitted to leave in their vehicles shortly thereafter. Fire officials at the scene said that all employees had been accounted for.

Firefighters respond to a two-alarm fire at the Genpak plastics facility in Cedar City, Utah, June 6, 2020. | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Shortly after 4 p.m., with ladder trucks from Cedar City, St. George and Hurricane Valley fire departments poised and ready, firefighters pulled open the side door to the room where the fire had been burning. No smoke poured out, just a steady stream of water, which was a good sign for firefighters.

“The last thing we wanted to do was give it air,” said Cedar City Fire Chief Mike Phillips, explained that a flare-up could have occurred if it had not been fully extinguished with water before allowing air inside the room.

Phillips said most of the fire and water damage was confined to that one storage room and its contents, although there was also some smoke damage in other nearby areas of the building.

“The extent of that, we don’t know yet,” Phillips said, adding that the cause of the fire is also under investigation.

Operations at the other Genpak plant located next door to the east, were not affected by the incident.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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