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Crews put out chemical fire at Mullins Crossing

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 5:53 PM
Last updated 8:42 PM
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A Columbia County hazardous materials team extinguished a chemical fire inside a tractor-trailer parked in a crowded shopping center parking lot Tuesday afternoon.

The Columbia County Fire Rescue Haz-Mat Response Team works to put out a chemical fire that started in a tractor-trailer Tuesday afternoon.   SPECIAL
SPECIAL
The Columbia County Fire Rescue Haz-Mat Response Team works to put out a chemical fire that started in a tractor-trailer Tuesday afternoon.

An SAIA Ltd. Freight driver saw his tractor smoking and pulled into an empty area of Mullins Crossing shopping center by Ruby Tuesday restaurant in Evans.

Columbia County fire personnel responded and saw the emergency placards on the side of the smoking trailer, said Batt. Chief and Special Operations Officer Danny Kuhlmann said.

Upon checking the driver’s manifests, Kuhlmann said he learned the trailer was loaded with corrosive materials including wood preservatives, solvents and chlorine tablets.

“The driver said he thinks the load shifted, causing the containers to leak and set the fire,” Kuhlmann said.

Early reports indicate that chlorine combined with hydrochloric acid started the fire.

Emergency personnel closed off the west end of the parking lot and evacuated several stores, including Ross, Marshall’s, La-Z-Boy and PetCo, as a precaution in case the toxic smoke blew in the direction of shoppers.

“If you’re close and you inhale it, it could be dangerous,” Kuhlmann said.

The fire department’s Hazardous Materials Response Team and Columbia County crews worked to create dikes out of sand to contain any water contaminated when firefighters doused the blaze inside the trailer.

More than three hours after the fire started, firefighters in HazMat suits opened the trailer and the fire was extinguished. No one was injured. Kuhlmann said the company hired a crew to handle clean-up of the toxic chemicals.

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fatboyhog
1940
Points
fatboyhog 04/01/14 - 06:08 pm
2
0
Intelligent decision

What rocket scientist thought that it would be a good idea to transport hydrochloric acid and chlorine in the same vehicle/compartment? Then again, there's lots of scary stuff being transported in tractor-trailers and railcars.

happychimer
17476
Points
happychimer 04/01/14 - 06:25 pm
0
0
I was in that shopping center

I was in that shopping center about 3:30 and saw fire trucks. I thought they were testing fire hoses and hydrants. I did not see smoke.

happychimer
17476
Points
happychimer 04/01/14 - 08:18 pm
1
1
So Petco was evacuated. I was

So Petco was evacuated. I was in there. I was not told there was danger nearby. Columbia County likes to be secretive, but I resent their not informing people of the danger nearby.

itsanotherday1
42900
Points
itsanotherday1 04/01/14 - 08:32 pm
2
0
My thoughts too fatboy. That

My thoughts too fatboy. That should not be allowed. Just like medicine interactions, it should be easy enough to create databases of potential reactants for chemicals and not haul them together.

woodymeister
247
Points
woodymeister 04/02/14 - 10:05 am
2
0
Happychimer.....

The reason they don't tell people is because the risk is low but the chaos that often times ensues is not worth it. More accidents happen when people freak out over the information and cause larger safety concerns.

happychimer
17476
Points
happychimer 04/02/14 - 01:23 pm
0
0
So people are not told of

So people are not told of danger because they might freak out? That is not true. That area of the parking lot was blocked off, and I thought it was some kind of safety drill or inspection going on. It is my right to know there is danger nearby. So nobody is to tell people when danger is nearby. that is bull.

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