On Tuesday, September 3, 1991, at approximately 8:15 a.m., a fire occurred at the Imperial Foods Processing Plant in Hamlet, North Carolina resulting in 25 fatalities and 54 injuries. The intense fire quickly spread products of combustion throughout the plant causing employees to search for available exits. Although many of the estimated 90 occupants escaped without incident, others found exterior doors unavailable and sought alternative means of escape. Not all of those who remained were able to be rescued, and many perished.
The National Fire Protection Association is cooperating with the Hamlet Fire Department and the North Carolina Department of Insurance - Fire and Rescue Services Division in documenting this incident. The purpose of this life safety evaluation was to determine significant factors and lessons learned that will assist the fire service, building and fire code officials, and other concerned parties in reducing the potential for such tragic losses of life.
For more information on this fire NFPA Fire Investigations. To learn more about Fire Analysis and Research statistical data on Fire in U.S. Industrial and Manufacturing Facilities