On Thursday night, local fire, EMS, and law enforcement agencies responded to a chemical fire at 482 McBrien Road near the RAVE Theatre just off I-24. The incident prompted a mandatory evacuation for residents within a half mile radius of the fire’s location.
Officials said an 18-wheeler hauling organic peroxide and sodium hydroxide caught fire at about 9 p.m., prompting the major hazmat response. The liquid chemicals the trailer also contained caught fire in the parking lot of the businesses near the RAVE.
The burning chemicals release vapors that could be harmful and possibly cause skin irritation and respiratory issues, officials said.
A crash truck from the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport responded to the scene. The specialized piece of equipment punctured the tractor trailer, injecting foam onto the blaze.
TDOT provided tons of dirt to the scene in an effort to prevent runoff from the scene that may harm the environment. Hepaco, a private environmental cleanup company, was also on scene to evaluate the situation and further mitigate the incident.
I-24 was shut down in both directions from the I-24/I-75 split to the North Germantown exit. The interstate was reopened at 5 a.m. on Friday.
South Terrace between South Moore and Spring Creek roads remains closed.
A public shelter was opened at the Brainerd Recreation Center on North Moore Road.
Officials said the Environmental Protection Agency will oversee the cleanup process.