'Chemical explosion' reported at Auburn plant

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Fire and rescue personnel responded to an incident where a chemical fire occurred in Auburn.

According to Dow Sport, A-shift battalion chief for the Auburn Fire Division, a call was received at 3:03 p.m. regarding a fire in a shipping container at Auburn Chemical Company, located on Fieldview Drive. The fire involved the chemical thermite, a combination of metal powder fuel and metal oxide that can produced temperatures of over 4,000 degree Fahrenheit when ignited.

Sport said that upon arrival at the company, firefighters set up an isolation zone around the container and decided the best course of action would be to monitor the burn, ensuring that it didn't spread to other parts of the facility.

"The best course of action was just to let the remainder burn out," Sport said.

Units with the AFD assisted the Southwest Lee County Volunteer Fire Department in tending to the fire, while units with the Auburn Police Division provided security. Sport said the AFD units left at 4:52 p.m. and that Southwest Volunteer FD monitored the scene Tuesday night while an APD unit provided security.

"The business owners say they are contacting a cleanup crew and I know that Southwest has contacted ADEM already," Sport said.

During the fire, one employee sustained minor burns, Sport said, but that they were quickly treated by rescue units and released.

Management at Auburn Chemical Company did not offer any comment on the fire.

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