• Employees at Muskogee Georgia-Pacific plant can return to work May 20

    By: Josh Gammon

    Updated:

    MUSKOGEE, Okla. - Quick Facts:

    • A fire broke out Monday night at the Georgia-Pacific Plant in Muskogee.
    • Company officials said all employees are accounted for. One person was treated for smoke inhalation.
    • Officials said employees all employees can return to work on their scheduled work days beginning May 20.
    • This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
    • DOWNLOAD the FOX23 News app for updates sent to your phone.

     

    Officials said all employees are accounted for after a large fire broke out Monday night at the Georgia-Pacific plant in Muskogee.

    Firefighters said the fire started with a forklift around 9:40 p.m. Employees tried to put it out on their own, but the vehicle exploded and caused the fire to spread. The Georgia-Pacific fire brigade and firefighters had the fire under control around midnight.

    Four people were treated for smoke inhalation and one stayed in the hospital overnight. All four are expected to be OK.

    Officials say 100 people were in the plant and 65 of those were in the buildings near the fire.

    Some employees and their loved ones tried to go to the building to find out what happened and check on those they know. Emergency crews kept people back, and Muskogee’s 911 director and company officials said all the plant’s 65 employees were accounted for. One person was treated for smoke inhalation.

    Officials with the fire department, emergency services and Georgia-Pacific gave the first news conference around 11:30 p.m. to describe what happened, how they responded and what the next steps are. FOX23 was there and carried the news conference live on air:

    Power plant workers were allowed into the building Tuesday morning but employees are being told to stay home.

    FOX23 learned that the Muskogee plant specializes in paper products. Georgia-Pacific is a paper company based in Georgia. The company owns two Oklahoma facilities.

    The FOX23 SkyView Drone captured images of the damage the morning after the fire:

    A company spokesman sent FOX23 the following statement:

    "We’ve had a significant fire at the Muskogee mill in our paper warehousing and converting area. Both the mill emergency team and local fire departments and first responders are on the scene working to manage and extinguish the fire. All employees and contractors were evacuated safely from the area and are accounted for. We don’t yet know the extent of the damage or the cause of the fire. Our first priority is to ensure that all employees are safe and that the fire teams are able to do their job in dealing with the fire. We do appreciate all the support that we are getting from our local first responders." - Tom Strother, Georgia-Pacific

    This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


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