At approximately 1830 hrs on 2/14/2011 the Agrium US Fertilizer facility experienced a fire that started in their loading dock. The fire was located in a 0.5 acre building which houses 50# and 1500# fertilizer bags, and a total of 8,000 tons of finished (10-10-10) fertilizer, and 4,000 tons of raw fertilizer and trace mineral raw materials. SCDHEC reports that the facility's e-plan documents an inventory of 45-50 million pounds of raw materials. Firefighting efforts continued for 30 minutes without runoff controls, after which a cover was placed on the drainage manway. Surface water runoff travels approximately 30 yards to Prestwood Lake (a reservoir and urban recreational waterbody). Due to heavy smoke from the chemicals involved in the fire. A mandatory evacuation notice was sent out by local responders under the state emergency powers act that was later downgraded to a voluntary program where 30 residents reported to a shelter. Minor explosions from reacting materials were reportedly observed in the fire. SCDHEC responded with resources and personnel to conduct air monitoring. EPA Telephone Duty dispatched EPA North Carolina Outpost OSC Rhame to respond with START Tetra Tech to provide water sampling support to SCDHEC and Darlington County EMA.
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