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NASCAR Shop Accident Shows That Workplace Fires Can Happen Anywhere

In late January, ten people were treated and released from the hospital after suffering smoke inhalation from a fire that broke out inside the Joe Gibbs Racing complex in Huntersville, N.C.

Huntersville police said that a machine, thought to be a laser cutter, caught fire inside the building. The fire was contained to the machine shop inside the building, and the 10 people were treated by paramedics in the adjacent parking lot. These ten people were then cleared to go back inside the complex.

“A piece of equipment in the machine shop caught fire at our Joe Gibbs Racing headquarters in Huntersville, N.C. The fire department was called and the fire was quickly contained and extinguished,” read a statement from Joe Gibbs Racing. “A few of our employees received treatment on site for issues related to smoke inhalation. All employees were able to return to work within the hour to continue preparations for the 2012 NASCAR season.”

Witnesses observed smoke pouring from the complex, located just west of Interstate 77 on the outskirts of Charlotte, N.C. Joe Gibbs Racing is home for the race teams of several high-profile drivers, including drivers Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano.

It’s the second year in a row that a fire has caused damage to this facility. In February 2011, a fire caused significant damage to the room where engines are built and worked on. No one was injured in that incident.

Workplace fires are dangerous because, although most offices and shops have smoke detectors and fire alarms, many people are trying to escape down fire stairs and through fire exits, which can cause crowding and prevent a quick escape. The result could be second degree or third degree burns in addition to smoke inhalation, which can make a victim unconscious in just seconds, and unable to escape.

It is wise for you to know where the fire exits are in a building from the first minute you go inside that building. It will save you precious time in the event of a fire.

If you or someone you know suffers an injury such as third degree burns or smoke inhalation, you should call Kramer & Pollack LLP in Mineola, New York so that the personal injury attorneys in that firm can determine whether another party has legal liability for injuries suffered, and if the injured party has a strong legal case.

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