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Chemical reaction ignites fire

- chemical-reaction-ignites-fire

Chemical reaction ignites fire

On Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 fire and rescue units from the City of Manassas, Manassas Park, and Prince William County responded to a fire in a storage building at Micron Technology, Inc.

Two Micron employees were preparing discarded materials for removal in the storage building, located on Nokesville Road near Technology Drive, when they noticed smoke and flames coming from a large pile of fiberglass and plastic inside the facility.

First arriving units reported smoke coming from the building and encountered flames upon entering the structure.  They extinguished the fire and damage was contained to a rear area of the building.

The Hazardous Materials Response Team from Prince William County also responded to the fire due to a possibility of chemicals being involved in the incident.

The Fire Marshal and Micron representatives determined that the fire was caused by a chemical reaction from a build-up of silane gas particles and ammonium nitrate inside of a discarded piece of pipe that was used in the manufacturing process at Micron and placed at the bottom of the debris pile.

At room temperature, silane is a gas, and is pyrophoric -- it undergoes spontaneous combustion – without the need for external ignition.

There were no injuries reported. A damage estimate has not been completed.
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