Calexico, county fire handles haz mat situation

January 29, 2002|STAFF REPORT

CALEXICO — Firefighters responded to a blaze near an old grain mill here Monday and found themselves facing an unknown hazardous material.

The fire erupted about 10:30 p.m. in a storage facility near the 1100 block of Williams Avenue on the northwest side of the city.

Calexico fire Capt. David Lantzer said the fire was likely set by a person but he was not sure if the blaze was set with malice or accidentally.

Eight Calexico firefighters responded and were joined by two Imperial County firefighters.

Lantzer said while the blaze took firefighters just 15 minutes to control, those on scene found a container with a powdery substance in the storage facility.


When they put water on it, the substance boiled and caused the blaze to intensify.

Fire crews used a long pole with a hook to pull the container away from the fire and county hazardous material team members were called in to package the container and the substance so it could be tested later.

Lantzer said the concern was that strong winds caused smoke from the fire to blow over firefighters. He said for that reason it is important to determine what the substance is to protect the health of the firefighters.

No injuries resulted from the blaze and the case remained under investigation.

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