Police: National Plastics Fire Caused by Employee Error

State Police blame an improperly extinguished piece of scrap for the huge blaze at National Plastics on July 15.

State Police have determined that an employee at improperly discarded a piece of burnt plastic July 15 that led to the massive fire at the Palmer Township facility, The Express Times reports.

The employee had conducted a “burn test” on a piece of scrap and then tossed it in with other debris. The resulting fire took firefighters from 25 departments in four counties more than six hours to completely put out.

Initial reports stated the fire at the plastics recycling company started in a dumpster at about 11am and then jumped to the building at 11 McFadden Road. At times, the smoke billowed so high that it could be spotted for miles around the Lehigh Valley. 

National Plastics, according to its website, "is a post-industrial plastics recycling company."


Maria Padula-Larsen August 21, 2011 at 01:53 AM
What are they gonna do to the employee for do'n this. There has to be many people out of work because of this.
gruntled August 21, 2011 at 02:33 AM
I have worked the plastics industry for decades. The test is necessary for many customers and is a standard in the industry. Failure to follow procedure should be punished, but let's also look to see if training and a well-defined procedure was in place. Proper procedures and oversight prevents stupid fires. Wanna bet that National is not ISO certified? (I should check that before I say it.)
Takesha Thomas August 21, 2011 at 05:43 PM
Patch will have a follow-up to all of those questions and more. Keep checking the website for an update to the story.


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