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Shredder explosion causes fire in Milledgeville | News

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Shredder explosion causes fire in Milledgeville

It's Jane Sowell's job to tell people about the sites and sounds of Georgia's Antebellum Capital.

"It's funny. We just had a visitor here a little while ago," she said, standing on the steps of Milledgeville Convention and Visitor's Bureau, which looks a little less welcoming after catching on fire.

"One of my employees was shredding some documents and the shredder blew up and very quickly the office caught on fire."

That left the building damaged but not destroyed.

"Heavy damage in one office and the entire office is full of black soot," she said.

The explosion also left an employee shaken.

"We did have one person go to the hospital, just we were worried about smoke inhalation and her hair was kind of singed," she said.

She wasn't the only one touched by the flames. To understand just how hot things got inside, it only took one good look at a charred office chair. Flames melted the Styrofoam and removed it from the wood that supports it.

"To put it mildly it burnt up,Milledgeville Fire Chief Tom Dietrich said of the shredder. "The container in the back was full of paper and once it ignited had a considerable amount of paper to burn."

Dietrich says exploding shredders aren't common. He says he's never seen one do that before.

But Jane Sowell says the flames won't hold back Milledgeville's welcoming ways for long.

The Milledgeville Convention and Visitor's Bureau has temporarily relocated to the City Annex.

That's next to City Hall. They don't know how long they'll need to stay there.

The cause of the shredder malfunction is still being investigated.


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