BLUEFIELD, Va. — Click here for video
A local company’s employee was flown to a Bristol, Tenn., hospital Tuesday after an industrial oven exploded.
Chief Jim Hardy of the Bluefield, Va., Fire Department said the department received the call at 11:46 a.m. The accident had occurred at the Pemco Corporation at 700 Fincastle Turnpike.
“It looked like we had an industrial-type oven that for some reason exploded and it burned one man,” Hardy said. “There were third-degree burns on his hands, face and chest.”
The fire department set up a helicopter-landing zone near Graham Middle School. Hardy said the man, who was talking and able to communicate, was flown to a Bristol, Va., hospital.
Damage was limited to the oven, Hardy said.
“The fire evidently blew itself out. The building had extensive smoke, but we vented it,” he said.
Walter Sowers, CEO of the Pemco Corporation, said he did not have firsthand knowledge of the employee’s condition. He declined to release the man’s name.
“What I can tell you is this,” he said. “An accident occurred here today at Pemco. There was a fire at the plant, and unfortunately, one of our employees was injured. Our attention at this time is focused on our employee and his family, and we are taking all reasonable measures to ensure the safety of all our employees.”
— Contact Greg Jordan at