The Urethane Blog

FXI Fire in CA

Industrial fire in Orange generates huge flames, explosion

A greater-alarm fire broke out in an industrial area of Orange early Wednesday. (Photo by Nathan Holguin/RMG News)
A greater-alarm fire broke out in an industrial area of Orange early Wednesday. (Photo by Nathan Holguin/RMG News)

By Nathaniel Percy | npercy@scng.com | Daily BreezePUBLISHED: February 9, 2022 at 2:56 a.m. | UPDATED: February 9, 2022 at 8:26 a.m.

A fire at a large foam-making company in Orange sent massive flames and plumes of smoke into the air early Wednesday, Feb. 9, possibly destroying two vehicles and a couple outbuildings before firefighters extinguished the blaze, authorities said.

No employee or firefighter was injured, said Capt. Ryan O’Connor of the Orange Fire Department.

Firefighters received a call from employees at FXI, located at 2060 N. Batavia St., about 12:30 a.m.

As firefighters made their way to the 24-acre property, “most of our rigs could see a header and a glow from their stations,” he said.

Firefighters immediately called for more resources and took a defensive approach, setting up rigs around the circumference of the property to pour water onto the fire and protect neighboring buildings, O’Connor said.

Employees told firefighters they were loading large rectangles of foam, called foam buns, from an outside lot onto a conveyor belt to be processed when they noticed one of them smoking, O’Connor said.

“They moved it off of the conveyor belt and they tried to extinguish it, but by that time, it had gotten out of hand and had spread to others,” the captain said.

Fifteen to 20 employees were across the street from the building when firefighters arrived, he said.

The department received help from nearby fire departments, with the bulk of the fire put out in about two hours.

What caused the fire was under investigation and an estimated cost of the damage was not immediately available.

FXI has operated at the facility since 2009 and purchased the property in 2014, according to a company statement announcing the purchase.

In October 2020, firefighters put out a smaller blaze at FXI in about 20 minutes. During that battle, firefighters focused their efforts on a large metal pipe that connected the main building with a smaller structure outside.