Fabric fire sends one to hospital

One worker was taken to the hospital on Monday after a machine caught on fire in a Newton manufacturing facility.

Fire officials say a dotting machine caught on fire on the third floor of Carolina Specialty Fabrics in Newton, and one employee was taken to the hospital after inhaling too much smoke. A dotting machine is used to put traction material on fabrics used for gloves, said Newton Fire Chief Kevin Yoder.

“The fire was in the machine, but some of it had extended to the duct work of the machine,” Yoder said, adding that there was no structural damage to the building. “There were some employees inside that tried to extinguish the fire. One of the employees took in a little bit too much smoke.”

The worker transported to the hospital had already been ill, Yoder said, and was taken away for precautionary reasons. About 20 employees were evacuated from the building.

The fabric the company was using in the dotting machine had a higher lint content than usual, and it caught on fire going through the machine, Yoder said.

The fire caused about $5,000 worth of damage. The total content value inside Carolina Specialty Fabrics is about $50,000, Yoder said.

“We had a total of 15 on-duty personnel there and nine off-duty,” Yoder said, adding that one ladder truck and four engines were dispatched to the fire.

Newton-Conover Rescue and Catawba County EMS also responded to the scene. Newton Police Department provided traffic control as East 2nd Street was closed during the fire.