CALHOUN, Ga. (CBS46) A hazardous chemical fire forced the closure of Calhoun city schools on Friday and also evacuated several nearby residents.
The fire started around 1:20 a.m. at the DHM Adhesives factory on Wall Street and is posing a serious air quality alert.
Residents in the area are being advised to stay indoors and some nearby residents were evacuated out of an abundance of caution.
“We called in all three of our shifts. Every person that works for CFD is on scene," said Calhoun Fire Department Deputy Chief Terry Mills. “We’ve put over a million gallons of water on this fire so far, so we’ve got quite a bit of runoff.”
In all, 18 people were evacuated from their homes and a housing complex. The 911 call center says they received a few calls from residents complaining of breathing problems because of the smoke.
A maintenance man at the factory sustained non life-threatening burn injuries from the fire and a family member told CBS46's Rebekka Schramm that he will have to have skin grafts as a result. No one else was injured.
Meanwhile, the Calhoun city school district says they are "concerned with student and staff safety with regards to air quality in and around the schools."
The school district also posted additional information on after-school activities scheduled for Friday:
"Thank you to everyone for your patience and understanding this morning as we dealt with a very unexpected start to a Friday. After evaluating the situation we feel, unless something were to change, that we can safely have our band, and football participants report to school at the following times for dismissal to the Sonoraville game:
Band - All band members report directly to the band room no later than 5PM to load buses at 5:15PM.
Football - All players report directly to the field house at 2PM for load out with 3:30PM meal and 5PM departure.
Calhoun Football Cheerleaders report to CHS gym 5 pm.
Middle School Volleyball - Waiting to hear from coach to make determination.
CHS Debate - Meeting at CFA at 1PM for tournament/out of town departure.
All other after school activities and practices are cancelled."
Thank you to everyone for your patience and understanding this morning as we dealt with a very unexpected start to a Friday. After evaluating the situation we feel, unless something were to change, that we can… https://t.co/iffHRp834N— Calhoun City Schools (@CalhounSchools) September 13, 2019
According to the company's website, DHM Adhesives "specializes in developing environmentally safe hotmelt adhesive technology for our customers and tolling partners, then expertly producing these products for efficient shipment throughout the US and abroad."
Stay with CBS46 News for updates.