No injuries reported, ventilation pipe damaged in fire at Hopewell Water Renewal

The Tri-Cities

HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — A fire at Hopewell Water Renewal on Friday morning went from the basement to the roof, damaging a ventilation pipe that was set to be replaced. Fire officials said the blaze will not interrupt sewer service to customers in the city.

According to a release, contractors at the facility were working on the sludge holding tank when they cut the pipe to remove it. The sparks that came from cutting the pipe were drawn into the facility’s ventilation system and caused a fire to spread throughout the system. The blaze grew to the roof through the ventilation pipe, a city spokesperson said in the release.

The Hopewell Fire Department worked with neighboring departments and Water Renewal staff to close the valves and shut down vent fans to extinguish the fire. The ventilation pipe, which was being replaced as a part of a project, was what sustained the most damage in the fire.

Staff at the facility “believes that the impact to treatment will be short-lived,” according to the release. Ben Ruppert, the emergency manager for the city of Hopewell, told 8News’ Laura Perrot at the scene that no injuries were reported.

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