Calhoun (Ga.) City Schools are closed Friday because of a chemical fire on Wall Street earlier in the day that poses a threat, according to a statement on the school's website and a Facebook video shared by the Calhoun Fire Department.
"We are concerned with student and staff safety with regards to air quality in and around the schools," the statement reads. "All residents are advised to stay indoors."
The school system's transportation department is helping with the evacuation of several elderly residents in the area, according to the statement.
The school system recommended residents stay inside because of poor air quality due to the fire that started and continued to burn Friday at a manufacturing plant.
Calhoun Fire Deputy Chief Terry Mills told local media at the scene that the department got a call at about 1:15 a.m. and, by that time, the DHM Adhesives Inc. facility was already up in flames.
Ten workers were in the building when the fire started, and Mills said one person was taken to an area hospital with injuries.
All 36 fire suppression staff members with the Calhoun Fire Department were on the scene. Several other agencies helped contain the fire, Mills said.
Dark smoke covered the area early Friday morning, and smoke lingered later. Mills said the school system's decision to close had to do with the smoke and the many road closures.
The fire department also had to evacuate residents from a housing authority apartment complex nearby.
At about 9 a.m. Friday, the schools announced that a few of the afterschool activities were still scheduled to continue. The band and football team were told to report to the school in the afternoon to catch a bus for the game at Sonoraville High School.
Contact Patrick Filbin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-7567-6476.