Daehan damaged in weekend fire, Kia halts production - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Daehan damaged in weekend fire, Kia halts production

HARRIS COUNTY, GA (WTVM) -

An auto supplier in Harris County will not open Monday while authorities investigate a fire.

It started early Saturday morning at Daehan Solution outside of West Point. No one was hurt, but the plant was damaged. 

Daehan supplies parts for Kia. A spokesperson for the automaker says production may resume Wednesday morning. 

Daehan Solution in West Point caught fire just after 4 a.m. Saturday morning. Several fire agencies in the region had to be called out to the plant.    

Chris Johnson worked at Daehan Solutions in West Point for almost two years. He never thought that he would wake up Saturday morning and find plumes of black smoke coming from his second home.

"My boss man called and told me you don't even have to come in. He started telling me that the building was on fire. At first I thought he was joking, but I started getting more calls and texts," Johnson said. 

Johnson eventually joined a small crowd of about 15 people in front of the plant to see the fire for themselves all hoping that when the last few flames are put out they would still have a job.

"Its not many jobs in the area this is one of the good plants that we have so I don't know what everybody is going to do, including me," Johnson said.

West Point Fire Chief Milton Smith says his department got the call shortly after 5 a.m.  Hey says they immediately responded arriving at Daehan Solution to find a fully involved fire. 

"We did have water flow from the sprinkler system being activated and the fire had already vented the roof on the North West coroner of the building," Chief Smith said.

The $35 million KIA Motors supplier opened its doors in 2008. Daehan Solution provides over 300 jobs to people in the surrounding community. The plant makes metal car parts that protect drivers from the engine and electrical wiring.  

Chief Smith says the cause of the fire has not been determined. Workers we spoke to say they were told that the fire started in the scrap department. Workers say a piece of metal that reached temperatures topping 180 degrees was not allowed to cool down and was improperly discarded. 

Firefighters from West Point, Lanett, East Alabama, Harris, and Troup County all worked for 5 hours to contain the fire.

"The fire has got major, major damage with some roof collapse the other side of the firewall is very much in tact may have some smoke damage to some other part of the building." 

For now Daehan employees like Chris Johnson will have to wait until the fire investigation is complete to know if production will continue.

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