Savannah Fire: Black Smoke Invades the City SkyBy: Jasmine Allen - February 9, 2014
A stream of smoke has caused a possible health hazard for Savannah, GA residents living near a warehouse that caught on fire over the weekend.
Savannah firefighters, the Air National Guard, and the Coast Guard have been working hard to put out a blaze that started at Ocean Terminal’s warehouse No. 3 on Saturday.
Around 11 a.m., a warehouse filled with tire and rubber went up in flames. Reports have confirmed that there was no one working in the 226,000-square-foot building at the time.
Fire personnel responded to the fire and attempted to put out the resilient flames with submersible hoses, which drove water directly from the Savannah River. Foam was also used to help submerge ongoing fire spots.(image)
After 5 p.m., firefighters were officially able to control the blaze.
However, a black fog from the fire continues to engulf the surrounding area, causing airborne particles and fallen debris.
According to Savannahnow.com, hazardous materials researcher and nearby resident Chuck Watson reported that the black particles falling from the sky are obviously a concern, especially for those with asthma or any type of respiratory health issues.
“There’s a whole range of them there,” Watson said in reference to the small particles, which he says are much more detrimental than larger debris particles. “This time of year the pollen’s not ramped up yet. Since we had that rain earlier in the day that washed out probably all the natural stuff that’s in there.”
The particles are said to be 1 to 10 micrometers in size and can easily be inhaled.
Officials have encouraged people to limit their outdoor activities and stay inside by all means necessary until the fumes clear.
“Everyone is encouraged to stay indoors as the air quality will be hazardous. Avoid strenuous activities if you must work outdoors. Motorists should be alert for sudden changes in visibilities,” the advisory warning said.
Authorities have yet to determine what caused the warehouse fire.