Atmel plant in Colorado Springs shuts down as a result of Sunday night fire

By Rich Laden Published: December 24, 2013 | 3:20 pm 0

A fire Sunday night forced the closing of Atmel Corp.'s semi-conductor manufacturing operation on Colorado Springs' south side, a company spokesman said Tuesday.

Nobody was hurt, and company officials are determining the extent of damage and how long the operation will remain closed, said Peter Schuman, senior director for investor relations, who iss based in Atmel's San Jose, Calif., headquarters.

"It will take a few days to do an assessment and make sure there is no contamination of the facilities," he said.

Atmel has two manufacturing operations at its 500,000-square-foot plant at 1150 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd. - one for semi-conductors and another for its new XSense product, which is used in tablet computers, smartphones and other devices with touch screens.

The fire forced the closure of the semi-conductor portion, which takes up the majority of the plant, Schumann said. The XSense area continues to operate, he said.

A nitrogen gas intake line that serves the semi-conductor operation caught fire Sunday night, Schumann said. He wasn't sure if the fire occurred on the inside or outside of the building.

The semi-conductor portion of the plant was evacuated, Schumann said; an unknown number of employees were forced to leave, although operations are usually light around this time of the year, he said.

Atmel employs about 1,300 people in Colorado Springs, company officials said recently.

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