An equipment fire Thursday evening at Carmeuse Lime and Stone's mine in Maysville resulted in the evacuation of the mine until it was confirmed safe for employees to reenter.

According to a press release supplied by Jodi Burke-Toncar, regional human resources manager for Carmeuse, the fire in the mining equipment was extinguished and standard emergency response procedures were followed.

"The response was communicated to and coordinated with the Mine Safety and Health Administration," according to the release. "No one was injured and the mine is operating."

Kevin Whyte, vice president and general counsel for Carmeuse, said the fire started around 3 or 3:30 p.m., Thursday in the cab of a face drill. No one was in the cab and cause of the fire is still being determined.

"That is not known at this time, it is being investigated," Whyte said. "It was a relatively minor fire."

Whyte said there were 61 employees and six contractors in the mine at the time of the fire; all were evacuated within 28 minutes. No one was permitted back in the mine that afternoon or evening.

Whyte said around midnight a small group of people entered the mine with a Maysville mine rescue team to determine whether it was safe to reenter. At that time, the fire had been extinguished.

Whyte said the mine does have a fire suppression system in place and the fire likely burned itself out. He said the drill was not in a particularly flammable area and the fire had not spread past the equipment.

Whyte said a limestone mine does not pose the same risks that a coal mine does when there is a fire. However, "safety first and always" is a guiding principle for Carmeuse Lime and Stone, according to the release. The company has established policies and procedures to address workplace safety and abides by the mantra that "nothing we do is worth getting injured."

Carmeuse Lime and Stone owns and operates lime plants, limestone quarries and mines, limestone filler plants, industrial sand quarry and industrial sand processing plants throughout the United States and Ontario.

Approximately 185 people are employed at the Maysville site.

Contact Misty Maynard at misty.maynard@lee.net or by calling 606-564-9091, ext. 272.

For more area news, visit www.maysville-online.com.

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