Toxic Fumes from Dump Truck Fire Lead to Evacuations in Alabama

June 11, 2008

Several people evacuated their homes in Lawrence County, Ala. after a truck carrying a dumpster with bleach and a type of clay caught fire and released toxic fumes.

Lawrence County sheriff Gene Mitchell said the clay is used to absorb hazardous material spills and the truck’s load spontaneously combusted on Highway 33 about halfway between Moulton and Courtland.

Officials asked a dozen people to evacuate and Mitchell said he wasn’t aware of any residents having health problems from the smoke.

He did say two firefighters who were among the first on the scene inhaled the fumes and were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

The fire was extinguished with lye and a hazardous materials crew from Decatur assisted with the cleanup.

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