Every Monday on FOX10 News at 4pm, we're taking you inside the "Fox 10 News Vault". It's a treasure trove of memorable stories from the 70's, 80's 90's and 2000's.
Since 1924, Mobile Rosin Oil Company has served a number of industries including rubber, paper, and paint. In 1977, a mechanical failure resulted in a chemical tanker fire and $60,000 dollars in damage. Reporter Bill Capo takes you back.
Inside the “FOX10 News Vault”: April 1977
"When we arrived, the first worries firemen had were to keep that flaming substance from engulfing the two tank cars right behind me.
Though eight engines were dispatched after repeated calls to the fire chief in charge, the fire was never upgraded to first alarm blaze. The plant, which is owned by Taylor Lowenstein Company and leased to Mobile Rosin Oil Company was making alkyd rosin, which is a wood-based rosin used to manufacture paint. No one was injured, though several men were working in the building at the time the fire broke out.
"I just heard a kind of a swooshing noise, and then when I looked out there, well the fire had already engulfed it. One tank, what we call a kittle, running down the floor. I went out to about the center of the building, and it ran me out."
It took about 30 minutes to bring the fire under control. Firemen had to search for blocks to find hydrants to bring in enough water to put the fire out. Though the most frantic work centered on the two tank cars, which were so hot their sides were steaming, Fire Chief Buddy Edwards said it never got hot enough to explode. Company officials say the fire was caused when a mechanical seal failed, allowing rosin vapors to come in contact with an electric motor. They say they sustained an estimated $60,000 loss from the fire. This is Bill Capo, Channel 10 News Beat."
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