2 Firefighters Among 4 Hurt in Memphis Chemical Plant Fire

Plant employees suffered chemical burns, one airlifted to hospital


 
 

Adrian Sainz, Associated Press | | Thursday, July 11, 2013


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Two firefighters and two employees of a chemical plant were injured Thursday in a fire at the facility in north Memphis, authorities said.

Firefighters from a station near Pollution Control Industries began battling the blaze at about 4:30 p.m. CDT, Shelby County Fire Department spokesman Brent Perkins said. By 6:30 p.m., there was no visible smoke or flames coming from the scene, located near Millington.

About 35 firefighters from Millington, Memphis and Shelby County worked on the blaze.

Two employees of the company received chemical burns, but the seriousness of their injuries wasn't immediately known, Perkins said. One employee was taken by helicopter to the Regional Medical Center, while another was transported by ambulance.

Two Shelby County firefighters were also transported to a hospital in stable condition. Perkins says one suffered heat exhaustion, and the other injured his shoulder.

Perkins said the company uses chemicals to destroy hazardous materials, but it was not known which chemical caused the fire.

Air samples revealed no danger to the community, and the byproduct of the fire wasn't toxic, Perkins said.

"We know, based on which way the wind is blowing, and we do have a lot of wind today, we know exactly how to detect any known plume," Perkins said.

Streets were closed for more than an hour in the area. An event at Memphis Motorsports Park was canceled.

Perkins said firefighters from Station 64 had responded to a fire at the business at least once before. Perkins said the station keeps a close eye on the businesses in the area, many of which deal with dangerous cargo or hazardous materials.

Perkins said the cause of the fire wasn't known Thursday night but that he had no reason to suspect foul play.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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