Weather Forecast


Small fire breaks out at Alexandria's 3M plant

A small fire broke out at the Alexandria 3M plant Tuesday afternoon, causing hundreds of employees to be temporarily evacuated.

The blaze flared up when a spark ignited either some lint or dust while workers were performing routine maintenance, said Plant Manager Dave Lambert.

No one was hurt, he said, and 3M maintenance crews quickly put out the fire with assistance from the Alexandria Fire Department.

"We had an excellent response by the Alexandria Fire and Police departments," Lambert said. "We appreciate the support they give our community."

Some manufacturing equipment suffered minor damage during the fire, he said, but should be back up and running soon.

Lambert said the rest of the plant has been reopened, and there will be an investigation to determine the cause of the blaze.

He declined to say what part of the facility caught on fire.

Located at 22nd Avenue East and Broadway Street, the 3M plant makes industrial abrasives products used in metal fabrication, automotive manufacturing, furniture and custom wood and more, according to the company's Web site.

Products include sanding belts, whetstones, grinding-tools called mandrels and diamond-studded precision-polishing tools.

The building was 60,000 square feet when originally opened in March of 1968 and has since expanded five times.

Lambert said the plant employs 278 people.