A chemical drum that started to smoke after it exceeded optimum temperatures caused an evacuation at the AkzoNobel plant in Roanoke, VA, Wednesday.
The incident occurred 12:30 p.m. and when fire officials arrived smoke was coming from one of the buildings. Investigators said it was coming from a chemical drum.
The smoking container caused the sprinkler system to go off and firefighters were able to remove the drum from the building. They ended up decontaminated by a Hazardous Materials Team.
Investigators said there was an odor coming from the drum, but it was not harmful unless you are in close proximity. A contractor will be coming to help mitigate the situation, officials said.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management was also on the scene and is working with AkzoNobel.
For those residents that signed up, the City of Roanoke sent out a reverse emergency call to 77 nearby homes and businesses to keep them informed of the situation.
In response to the incident, AkzoNobel released a statement:
“A drum of materials began smoking at approximately 12:30 pm today inside an auxiliary building at the AkzoNobel plant in Roanoke, Virginia. The smoke activated the fire alarm and sprinkler systems, and triggered a precautionary evacuation of all production workers. The incident was contained to a small building on the site, and there were no injuries or environmental releases.
“The incident appears to have been caused when a single drum of material used to make coatings for kitchen cabinetry exceeded the optimum temperature. Three employees were working in this particular building at the time of the incident.
“The Roanoke Fire Department arrived on the scene a short time later and removed the drum of material from the building.
“Production has been suspended, and is expected to resume tomorrow morning. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the incident.”