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Large plant fire near Atlanta airport sends smoke in the sky that's seen for miles

No injuries or explosions were reported.

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — College Park authorities have provided new details regarding a larger fire that broke out Friday afternoon near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

City spokesperson Gerald Walker said that a fire occurred at Alchemix Chemical plant at 2300 West Point Avenue around 4 p.m. The resulting blaze ultimately took two hours, and four other fire departments, including Hartsfield-Jackson, Clayton County, East Point, and South Fulton.

The fire response was so intense that part of Riverdale Road had to be temporarily closed due to flames moving into the tree line near the plant.

Despite the size of the fire and the sizable smoke plume, which was visible on 11Alive radar images, neither firefighters nor the company reported injures. Witnesses said there was no explosion and that fire alarms caused employees to evacuate the building.

Credit: College Park
Fire at Alchemix plant near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on July 17, 2020

The company shared on its website that it is cooperating with authorities.

It's not currently clear if the smoke, while miles high, caused any flight delays. 

According to the Alchemix website, the company works with a chemical known as nitrocellulose which has a wide range of uses from medications to beauty supplies and even printing ink.

Britannica.com describes Nitrocellulose as a mixture of nitric esters of cellulose and a highly flammable compound that is the main ingredient of modern gunpowder.

The company's website also mentions that the substance has applications in pyrotechnics.


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