Updated: EPA officials say air quality ‘safe’ after chemical fire in Calhoun. One employee at DHM Adhesives injured; others OK. Roads have reopened.

Updated: EPA officials say air quality ‘safe’ after chemical fire in Calhoun. One employee at DHM Adhesives injured; others OK. Roads have reopened.

Calhoun Police photo from the scene Friday morning.

Friday evening update from AJC:

Fire erupted at an adhesives plant early Friday, lighting up the North Georgia sky with massive flames and spewing fumes which local officials worried could be toxic.

Calhoun City Schools were closed and residents in the area around DHM Adhesives Inc. were evacuated due to public health worries. But by Friday afternoon, environmental experts determined the air was safe and residents were allowed to return home.

“The air quality is good,” Ben Franco, on-scene coordinator for the Environmental Protection Agency, said. Tests were also conducted on runoff water, but the results could take several days, Franco said.

A cause of the fire has not yet been determined. One DHM employee was being treated at a local burn unit late Friday, according to Calhoun Deputy Fire Chief Terry Mills. Nine others were working inside at the time of the fire.

No firefighters were injured, though Mills said that by Friday afternoon fatigue had set in. Earlier Friday, Gordon and Bartow county firefighters assisted. Crews dumped more than 2 million gallons of water on the fire overnight, Mills said. Click here to read more

 

Earlier from Calhoun City Schools:

Calhoun City Schools will close for students and staff Friday, September 13, 2019 due to a hazardous chemical fire on Wall Street earlier this morning which poses a threat. We are concerned with student and staff safety with regards to air quality in and around the schools. All residents in the area are advised to stay indoors.

Calhoun City Schools’ transportation department is presently assisting with the evacuation of several elderly residents due to this incident.

From Dwayne Jackson, formerly with WEBS radio:

At 1:30 a.m.,  DHM Adhesives, 509 S. Wall St., reported a structure fire; one person sustained unspecified burns; all others out of building. The area around DHM is being evacuated as of 5 a.m. today. Citizens in the area are being taken by buses to Calhoun First Baptist Church.

 

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