Saturday morning in West Memphis, a cleaning products company’s warehouse caught fire, according to the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management. The fire is located in West Memphis at 1235 North 7th Street, approximately 2 miles south of Interstate 40. According to officials, the fire began around 9:30 a.m., and as of 4:30 p.m., it is under control.
Multiple law enforcement agencies are barricading the street as West Memphis and Marion County firefighters battle the blaze. Also present are the West Memphis Office of Emergency Management and the Crittenden County Office of Emergency Management.
“We requested mutual aid from the Marion Fire Department,” said Barry Ealy, chief of the West Memphis Fire Department. “They entered to aid us. Approximately fifty firefighters were on the scene.
According to the Office of Emergency Management for the City of West Memphis, Awesome Products utilized the warehouse, a cleaning products manufacturer. However, according to Ealy, most of its contents were cardboard and plastic.
“When we arrived, there was a great deal of heavy fire,” Ealy explained. “As the fire flared, we evacuated our personnel.”
According to Ealy, the warehouse is roughly 168,000 square feet.
“We used the aerial ladder to attack the fire from above, as there was nothing to be gained by sending firefighters into the blaze,” Ealy explained.
The West Memphis Fire Department is requesting that everyone avoid the area for their safety and to allow unimpeded access to emergency services.
“Our valiant firefighters are working nonstop to contain the situation and protect the community.” “We appreciate your cooperation during this difficult time,” WMFD wrote on Facebook.
The health effects of poor air quality are another primary concern. Division Chief Robert Mabe said Mother Nature played a role in this.
“The smoke that people observed was genuine, dark-black plastic container smoke,” said Mabe. “It rose into the air and blew away. Therefore, dilution is the solution to pollution. The further it travelled, the better for everyone.”
Saturday at 10 a.m., according to Terrian Sumner, she first noticed the fire.
“We were standing directly above the explosions and could feel the heat and hear the explosions. We resembled the phrase “Lord have mercy,” said Sumner.
There have been no injuries reported.
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