Marble plant destroyed by massive fire - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Marble plant destroyed by massive fire

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CHERRYVILLE, NC (WBTV) -

Investigators are working to uncover what caused a fire Sunday night at a marble manufacturing plant.

Monday morning, the Gaston County Fire Marshal's Office said the building was destroyed, a total loss.

People for miles around could see the flames when the Gatza Marble Products Plant on R&S Access Road in Gaston County caught fire.

Neighbors called for help when they saw the billowing smoke.

Cherryville firefighters got to the plant at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday.

They said the fire was almost under control when the flames hit a vat of resin. The resulting inferno overpowered firefighters' efforts as flames shot through the roof and spread quickly.

Residents like Bill Lovelace could only stop and stare at the massive wall of fire coming from the manufacturing plant just yards from his front door.

Firefighters called for backup, bringing in 22 Engine Companies, a tanker task force, nearly 20 fire departments from around the county, and about 75 additional firefighters.  

The Fire Marshal's Office said crews made multiple entries into the building until fire conditions became too hazardous. That's when crews set up to attack the fire from outside.

The company makes marble products like bath tubs and countertops for homes. Monday, the owner talked with insurance adjusters and told WBTV he had worked out a deal with a friend in Raleigh who would help take on Gatza's current clients until the company figures out what to do next.

About a dozen people worked at the plant.

Crews remained at the plant all day Monday to check for hot spots and make sure the fire didn't re-ignite. Small patches of flames could still be seen as late as 5 p.m. Monday.

No one was hurt.

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