Firefighters have contained a large fire at a cement plant in Harleyville. It started around 4:45 a.m. at the Argos USA plant at 463 Judge Street, off of I-26.
Firefighters say when they arrived, the plant was engulfed in flames. Dorchester County firefighters remain on the scene, watching hot spots that are still burning.
They will remain on scene throughout the night.
Officials say the fire started in a storage facility that housed recycled goods like rubber products, carpet, paper, and oils. A spokesman with Argos said the fire was contained to that building, so all other buildings remain operational. The company released this statement:
"Thankfully no one was injured and local emergency response teams arrived on site quickly to contain the fire to the storage building only. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation."
Smoke from the fire could be seen for miles in the Town of Harleyville. People were concerned about breathing it in.
"Sure to the old people. I'm old too. I'm 77 years old. I don't need to be breathing in no bad smoke," Dora Lee Edwards said.
After Dorchester County fire crews got the fire contained, the Department of Health and Environmental Control was called out set up equipment around the perimeter of the property to test air quality.
"What that air monitoring equipment will do, we're able to set it and determine what is in the smoke. See if it's any concern or threat to public health or problem for the environment," DHEC spokesman Adam Myrick said.
In addition to the air DHEC is also tested the fire water runoff. Health officials say they found nothing unusual or hazardous to the public or environment.
The fire department has not pinpointed the cause. About 75 firefighters from Dorchester, Colleton, and Berkeley counties responded to the scene.
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