News Day

Fire chemical scare


April 28, 2014

The presence of potentially dangerous chemicals delayed firefighting efforts at a Malaga factory unit overnight.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services spokeswoman Laura Keating said 25 firefighters arrived at the scene within minutes of being alerted to the incident but were not able to access the building immediately.

“It took a fair bit of time to get into the premises,” she said. “They gained entry at 10.47pm, about 25 minutes after they got there.

“When the owner reported that there were potentially two types of chemicals in there we contacted the Pollution Response Unit.”

Department of Environmental Regulation spokeswoman Liz Drew said the chemicals were assessed and removed according to the DFES protocol.

“DER’s attending officers made an assessment of the chemicals located in the building and identified the main risk as the presence of acid vapours in the air and in the water run-off,” she said.

“DER officers determined that there was minimal risk to the environment.”

Ms Keating said firefighters were used to attending fires where chemicals or other types of dangerous materials may be present.

“They put strategies in place to make sure the risk to themselves and the community is mitigated,” she said.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

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