A slow burning powder created a smoke condition at a Cartersville, GA, chemical plant Wednesday morning, officials said.
The call came in from the Chemical Products Corporation on Old Mill Road in Cartersville.
A powder called anthraquinone caught fire after an electrical short in one of the buildings at the plant, said the plant’s technical director Jerry Cook. The powder ends up distributed to paper companies.
As a result of the smoky conditions, nearby businesses, schools and a few homes ended up placed on a soft lockdown.
“Just at the initial part of it we had (them) sheltering in place and shutting down their HVAC units to keep from sucking in that air,” Fire Chief Craig Millsap said.
There was one person working in the building at the time of the fire.
“There was one operator in the building. He heard a pop and started to see some smoke,” Cook said.
The building smoldered for several hours.
“This powder burns with a very smoldering, smoky burn. It’s not very flammable, really, and (it) generated black smoke and drove them out of the building before they could put the fire out,” Cook said.
One firefighter ended up going to the hospital with a minor burn.
Cook said the chemicals inside the warehouse were harmless. Wind helped firefighters keep the hazards to a minimum.
“It’s blowing in opposite directions than our popular centers, so you can’t ask for better conditions as far as that goes,” Millsap said.