A fire was extinguished overnight at a facility that stores and treats waste in Braintree, Massachusetts, but questions remained Friday morning about the fire.
Friday morning, a ladder truck could still be seen at the Clean Harbors facility in case of any hot spots. The Town of Braintree said as of around 1 a.m. that the fire had been extinguished and "the immediate threat has been resolved."
In a statement issued just before noon on Friday, the town issued a statement saying that air monitoring at the facility and surrounding areas during the incident and again in the morning showed that air quality was and remains within normal parameters.
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While the fire was active overnight, the town asked people in the area to stay inside their homes with the windows closed. Several public safety agencies responded, including the Braintree Fire Department and hazmat teams.
“Last night I came out and there were flames going up there, it was a big plume, when the smoke turned from white to black, we knew this was also a chemical fire,” said Braintree Town Councilor Elizabeth Maglio.
Burnt-out shells of three tractor trailers that caught fire could be seen at the sight Friday morning.
There were no known injuries, according to town officials.
Authorities said in a press conference that they have not yet identified the hazardous materials that burned in the fire.
They also praised the Braintree fire department for containing the fire in about two hours and keeping the hazardous materials trailers cooled overnight.
On the facility's website, Clean Harbors is described as "largest Treatment storage and disposal facility in New England," which "receives, stores, treats and transfers a variety of waste streams."
As crews worked Friday to clean up what’s left of these burned-out trailers and their contents, Councilor Maglio called for more transparency in the chemicals being transported at the site and whether there are health hazards caused by the fire.
“Do you smell the air, do you smell the chemicals? My throat is burning, my eyes are stinging," Maglio said.
Questions remained Friday, though, including what was inside the trucks when they were on fire and what may have sparked the fire.
Clean Harbor officials issued a statement on Friday that said the following:
"Our company is strongly committed to protecting public health and the environment in Braintree, which is one of our hometowns – a place where members of our team not only work, but also live."
"Though the fire was resolved by 1 a.m. Friday; both during and immediately after the incident, air monitoring at the facility and in the surrounding neighborhood was conducted by Clean Harbors and emergency responders. All tests indicated that the air quality was within normal parameters." they added.