Chemical spill – 3 employees treated, released

alt

Newnan Fire Department personnel donned special protective suits as they responded to a chemical spill at the CLM waste transfer station on Werz Industrial Boulevard off the bypass Wednesday morning.

By ELIZABETH MELVILLE elizabeth@newnan.com A chemical spill at the CLM waste transfer station on Werz Industrial Boulevard Wednesday morning sent three employees to the hospital for evaluation. Newnan Fire Department responded to the call, and the spill was ultimately cleaned up by a professional hazardous materials company, according to Newnan Fire Department Battalion Chief Denise Freeman.
The incident occurred just after 10 a.m. at 129 Werz Industrial Boulevard -- a CLM Sanitation-operated transfer station where waste is sorted and shipped to various locations. The call was dispatched as a possible fire that began as the result of chemicals that had been mixed together. Newnan Engine 1 was the first to arrive at the scene. Firefighters reported finding a white vapor coming from the building. Sgt. Bart Henson ordered three employees to evacuate the immediate vicinity, according to Freeman. One of the employees reported that he was moving a pile of debris when it began smoking. Assuming it was a fire, he poured water on it, but the debris started "popping and smoking more," according to Freeman. Those three employees were decontaminated at the scene and then transported to Piedmont Newnan Hospital where they were treated and released after a brief evaluation, according to Freeman. Two firefighters -- Travis Hall and Ryan Brodowski -- performed reconnaissance on the site and reported one 55-gallon drum and one 5-gallon pail in the pile of debris emitting the white smoke. A fire department team dressed in full protective hazardous materials suits investigated the situation. Firefighters discovered that the 55-gallon drum had a label on it identifying the chemical inside as sodium hydroxide. The fire department determined that the 5-gallon pail contained calcium hypochlorite after evidence was analyzed at the haz-mat command post, according to Freeman. The department also learned that the calcium hypochlorite had leaked into the large debris piles, causing the chemical reaction. "The entry team was able to move both containers away from the debris piles to prevent further contamination," said Freeman. Fire officials made the decision at that point to call Rhino Services -- a professional hazardous materials decontamination company -- to remove the debris piles from the building. "The two individual chemicals are stable when isolated, but it is highly probable they are much more volatile when combined," said Freeman. "Additionally, it was unknown what other chemicals might have been in the debris pile." Rhino Services arrived at the scene just before 1 p.m. After an assessment of the scene, employees discovered chlorine tables, fertilizer bags and lime bags in the debris. Newnan Fire Department remained on the scene to provide assistance until just after 3 p.m. when Rhino completed its initial clean-up of the site and all danger of fire or other chemical reactions was eliminated.


More Local

Special observance planned at NHS

Newnan High School has partnered with the Department of Defense (DOD) in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War and will be h ... Read More


Suspect nabbed in woods

Meth, bath salts dealer arrested

A man suspected of distributing an odd mixture of methamphetamine and bath salts was arrested by Coweta County authorities after he attempte ... Read More


Pre-kindergarten registration starts on Monday

Registration for pre-kindergarten classes will start Monday at schools in Coweta County. “Parents who wish to secure a spot for their ... Read More


Transportation funding bill passes House

‘It’s killing our county, Absolutely killing us’ By Sarah Fay Campbell sarah@newnan.com The transportation funding bill th ... Read More


School system monitoring roads for black ice Friday

With cold temperatures sweeping in after rainy weather today, Coweta County students were sent home with a note to parents warning of possib ... Read More

Coweta Commission

Fire department to provide limited EMS

The Coweta County Fire Department will officially take over Coweta’s emergency medical services on May 1, but starting this week, fire ... Read More