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Chemical fire at Lebanon Walmart results in hazmat response

The fire is out, but the building is full of smoke.

Posted: May 14, 2019 1:42 PM
Updated: May 14, 2019 11:22 PM

LEBANON, Ore. -- A hazmat team responded to the Walmart Supercenter on Santiam Highway in Lebanon Tuesday after a fire started in the pool chemical area.

Fire Chief Gordon Sletmoe of the Lebanon Fire District said the fire started at about 12:45 p.m. The building was evacuated, and the sprinkler system activated. Officials said the fire is out, but the building was full of smoke for a while after the incident.

Law enforcement shut down a 300 foot radius around the store and some nearby businesses were also evacuated. A couple of city streets were closed to protect citizens from the toxic smoke.

"There were no injuries," Sletmoe said. "Walmart did a great job of evacuating people. If there is a fire in a commercial business and somebody tells you to leave, you should leave like the customers here did."

Crews used a thermal imaging camera to locate the fire through the smoke, and the sprinkler system kept the fire from growing. Officials said multiple types of chemicals were stored in the aisle the fire started in. Using a hose line, crews put out the fire.

Sletmoe said the hazmat team was called in to determine which chemicals were involved in the fire. Officials said it took an hour to clear the smoke to start an investigation.

The Lebanon Fire District, Albany Fire Department and Sweet Home Fire Department brought eleven apparatus and about 40 personnel to the scene. 

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. If you have information, contact the Lebanon Fire District or the Lebanon Police Department.

No injuries were reported.

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