One of the two men injured in last week’s fire at Mohawk/Unilin Industries near Mt. Gilead has passed away from injuries sustained in the fire. Seedy Bah and Raymond Thompson were both airlifted to hospitals for treatment of their injuries. Bah, 45, of Biscoe, passed away the following day from his injuries. The condition of Thompson, 35, of Mt. Gilead, who was working as a temporary worker at Mohawk, is not known. “We experienced a great loss last week,” said Nikki Green, human resources manager at the Mt. Gilead facility. “Seedy was a member of our work family and was well liked and respected by everyone here. He had a great work ethic and sense of humor, and anyone who encountered him walked away with a smile because his was contagious.”

Bah was employed as an assistant operator and had worked with the company for almost nine years. 

Bah, originally from Gambia, is recalled fondly by those who knew him. FirstHealth Emergency Management Services Director Donna Strong talks about the time Bah would spend with her kids when he worked at Primavera Restaurant, which used to be in Biscoe. Strong says her kids learned a strong sense of respect for people of different nationalities and religions from Bah. 

Bah and his wife, Angela, have a daughter who is a junior at East Montgomery High School. 

Wadeville Fire Chief Jason Haywood, who was on the first fire engine  at the scene, said his understanding was that there was an explosion involving the container where sawdust is brought in by a conveyer. That generated the first call around 3 p.m. An hour or so later there was a second explosion according to Haywood. 

The company makes particle board-type material that is formed using the sawdust and a glue-type substance. Due to the flammability of the material, Haywood said it is his understanding the company has a trained fire brigade at the plant.

Bah and Thompson were reportedly working on the conveyer system and were on scaffolding about 80 feet in the air when the explosion occurred, severely injuring both of the men. To escape, Haywood said the men would have had to go back through heavy smoke and down several flights of stairs.

Employees on the ground went to work immediately deploying what was described as a boom lift with a basket to rescue the men. Haywood said one of the men was on the ground when he arrived and one was still in the boom basket. 

To read the full story see the May 24th edition of Montgomery Herald.