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Chemical fire on Monroe Drive draws heavy response from authorities
Fire broke out late Sunday, but personnel remain on scene Monday to prevent spills
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Members of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division visit the smoldering remains of AFCO on Monday, March 5, 2018. Firefighters worked Sunday night, March 4, 2018, on the blaze. - photo by Scott Rogers

No airborne chemicals have been detected after a fire involving unknown chemicals broke out on Sunday, March 4, at a commercial business on Monroe Drive.

Emergency responders and cleanup crews are investigating the fire at 2675 Monroe Drive to determine what caused the fire and whether any harmful substances have been spilled, according to Hall County Fire Services spokesman Capt. Zachary Brackett.

Portions of Monroe Drive will remain closed to the public through Monday night, March 5, while Fire Services, a private cleanup company and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division monitor and clean the site.

“Continuous air monitoring is occurring,” Brackett said in a Monday announcement. “An odor in the local area may be noted; however, no chemicals have been detected at this time. No evacuations have occurred or are planned.”

There were no injuries in the fire, the cause of which remains unknown.

The list of substances housed on the property, provided to The Times by Georgia EPD on Monday, shows that many chemicals on site are corrosive, toxic or volatile.

“It was definitely a serious situation last night, and we were fortunate to avoid any injuries to any personnel,” Brackett said.

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Firefighters spray water over a commercial building fire on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at 2675 Monroe Drive. No one was injured in the fire, which involved chemicals, according to Hall County Fire Services. - photo by Hall County Fire Services

After entering the building and discovering chemical containers ablaze inside the business, which is a cleaning, sanitizing, water management, food manufacturing and food safety consulting company named AFCO, firefighters took a “defensive posture” and worked to stop the spread of the fire to nearby buildings, according to Fire Services.

The contents of the containers is unknown, Brackett said, and dirt was piled around the building to keep runoff on the site. 

Personnel remain in the area and Monroe Drive is closed from Allen Creek Road to Old Candler Road.

“We are working diligently to determine the chemicals involved in the incident and will share that information when it is known,” Brackett said.

This story will be updated.

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