published Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Fire at Georgia port warehouse extinguished

A Savannah-Chatham Metro Police officer watches from the Talmadge Bridge as smoke and flames pour from Ocean Terminal Warehouse No.3 at the Georgia Ports Authority in this Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, photo.
A Savannah-Chatham Metro Police officer watches from the Talmadge Bridge as smoke and flames pour from Ocean Terminal Warehouse No.3 at the Georgia Ports Authority in this Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, photo.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A blaze that tore through a warehouse and sent plumes of black smoke into the sky was fully extinguished Sunday, Georgia ports officials said.

Firefighters worked overnight Saturday to prevent flare ups from developing into larger fires inside the damaged 226,000 square-foot warehouse at the Ocean Terminal, Savannah Fire and Emergency Services spokesman Mark Keller said. Officials said more than 1,000 tons of crude rubber was burned in the fire. Firefighters from Savannah and Garden City, the Air National Guard and additional agencies helped bring the blaze under control.

No injuries were reported and no one was in the warehouse when the fire started, ports officials have said. The cause of the blaze is unclear and investigators had yet to evaluate the building as of Sunday morning.

"Our investigators haven't been able to get into it. Although most of the fire is out it's still not an environment where they can get into. It's just not safe for them at this point," Keller said. He added that a firewall that divided the building in half prevented part of the warehouse from being destroyed in the blaze.

In a statement, ports officials said the Environmental Protection Agency sent officials to test the air quality near the scene of the fire.

"The result of the air monitoring indicates that the levels found are well below health based standards," Terry Stilman, EPA's on-scene coordinator, said in a statement.

The U.S. Coast Guard is also deploying booms to the Savannah River to make sure that any materials that were released into the river during the fire are contained.

The Ocean Terminal was scheduled to resume normal operations Monday morning and ports officials said operations at Savannah's container port weren't impacted.

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