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Chemical plant fire contained, employees return to work

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NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Employees in the south plant of the MeadWestvaco Specialty Chemicals plant returned to work several hours after a chemical leak and fire, according Stephanie Mangini, Director of Communications & Brand Management.

Mangini said those working in the north part of the chemical plant returned hours earlier.

As of 11pm Monday night, the fire department demobilized and Mangini says the incident was well under control.

"No one was injured in the incident and there is no impact to the community or to the environment," a release stated.

According to Mangini, nearly 40 employees working Monday evening never left the area, but were evacuated from the building as a precaution.

The MWV release also stated the fire started at 5:45 p.m. when a leak happened during routine maintenance at the refinery, and the fire was contained by 6 p.m.

Shortly after the fire was contained crews began work to safely shutdown the refinery, according to the release.

An eyewitness said, "I heard a bunch of sirens and decided to come see what was going on and I looked over here to the plant, saw a big fire ball coming up over here."

More than 10 fire trucks from at least 3 agencies were lined up along Mill Road off of Virginia Avenue in North Charleston.

The chemical plant is used to turn rosins that come from the paper making process into a number of products, including those used in the oilfield drilling market and fire logs.

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