KEITH machinist stops spread of fire
A KEITH Manufacturing employee was recognized May 23, for helping stop the spread of a fire that broke out in a dumpster located near a building in the production area in April.
The Jefferson County Fire Department presented Weston Withrow, a machinist at KEITH's for the past 10 years, with a citizen's award for action that was "above and beyond" expectations.
The incident occurred shortly before 5 p.m., outside a production building.
Withrow was alerted and quickly recognized that the dumpster needed to be moved away from the building.
"As soon as I came outside, flames were coming out, so I got a Hyster and moved it away from the building," said Withrow, who first attempted to get a forklift from the bunker area, but found it would not start.
Withrow then got a side-loading forklift and dragged the dumpster away from the building.
"As soon as I got it 15-16 feet away from the building, someone (from the fire department) showed up," he said. "I was amazed that the response was as quick as it was."
Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze before any property, aside from the dumpster, was damaged.
"The fire marshal was extremely impressed with Weston's quick thinking and calmness during all of this," said plant manager Mike Feigner. "By the time I arrived, Weston was heading back to work."