Calhoun Deputy Fire Chief Terry Mills said Tuesday that fires at two local businesses remain under investigation at this time, while the inquiry regarding a more recent business fire has not yet begun.
The most recent incident occurred Monday at Mohawk’s Clarence King Parkway location when a tank used to hold propane for forklift-style vehicles caught fire, injuring a worker in the process.
Robert Webb, senior director of Public Affairs and Corporate Communications at Mohawk, said one worker was injured at the distribution center and airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital, but no update regarding the worker's condition was available. He clarified that contrary to some reports, there was no explosion at the plant.
"The fire originated at a liquid propane tank adjacent to the distribution center. As a precaution, all people working at the facility were quickly and safely evacuated; the building was not damaged," said Webb. "The company is cooperating with local fire departments and will work with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration during their investigation."
Mills said the investigation into the cause of that fire had not officially started as of Tuesday as his team was waiting to coordinate with Mohawk and insurance officials.
Meanwhile, environmental crews were on site Tuesday at DHM Adhesives on South Wall Street in downtown Calhoun working to clean up puddles and other chemicals to prevent any runoff should it rain. Mills said the investigation into the cause of that blaze on Friday had not yet concluded as officials are waiting on the company to determine whether or not there is asbestos present.
“We’re kind of at a standstill here,” Mills said.
Mills said there are no inherently dangerous chemicals used at the business but that officials want to get the site cleaned up before a problem can arise.
Representatives of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and the federal Environmental Protection Agency were in town of Friday to ensure nearby waterways were unaffected and to monitor are quality.
“The closest tributary is Oothcalooga Creek, which I am told is fine. The waterway isn’t impacted and there has been no impact to fish or environment,” said Georgia EPD Communications Director Kevin Chambers.
Finally, Mills said fire officials are waiting to coordinate with investigators representing the tenant and the property owner regarding the two fires at Clean Sweep on Nance Road.
That blaze originally started in the early morning hours on Monday, Sept. 9, but then sparked up again five days later. Gordon County Fire Department crews dealt with the second flareup on Friday as the city’s firefighters were still busy in downtown.
Mills, who said it took about six hours to contain the fire the first time, said the holdup with that investigation is getting the officials representing each interested party to be able to meet at the scene at the same time.
The exterior walls of the building are metal, so the structure is still standing, but Mills said the fire involved about 90% of the structure.