Two blocks evacuated as fire at commercial property ignites Friday morning

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – The fire started just before midday on Friday April 22 and Birmingham Fire is still working to determine the cause of the fire. Crews were dispatched at 11:51 a.m. and were immediately told that chemicals were inside the building.

They soon learned that Isopentan was the chemical on the property. It is used to make lightweight fiberglass products. After learning of its presence, the crews decided to take a hands-off approach, letting the fire die down. The container containing the hazardous material was not pierced by the flames.

Still, residents within two blocks have been evacuated as a precaution, and some remain concerned about the impact this could have on community health.

“Since it caught fire, it could be a danger for the whole neighborhood. There are small children around here. If it’s dangerous for your health, I mean I’m already sick, I haven’t need nothing else,” said local resident Clifford Sanders.

We have spoken with Birmingham Fire who say the air quality has not been affected. A representative from Jefferson County Health said its air quality investigation unit had not been called and would do so if air quality was threatened.

The firefighters remained on site until 5:00 p.m. to ensure that no hot spot allowed the flames to break out. This is also when the neighbors were allowed to go home.

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