Local News

Clinton Firefighters Encounter More Than Flames

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CLINTON — A mistake that sent 38 firefighters to the hospital should never be repeated again. That is the word from firefighters as an abandoned building in Clinton smolders.

Clinton firefighters discovered a pink substance oozing from the office of an abandoned grain mill while battling a blaze there last night.

They quickly got out of that building, only returning once they learned the chemical was not hazardous to their health.

The Clinton Fire Department said that when it fights a fire in an abandoned building and it is not sure what is inside, it usually does not let firefighters in.

Clinton firefighters usually know what chemicals are in the burning buildings they enter, it's in something called a pre-fire plan.

However, the fire department does not keep track of abandoned buildings like the one that went up in smoke last night, and there is no law that mandates that they have to keep these pre-fire plans.

Another question raised about last nights fire is was there any toxic chemicals released from this building into a nearby stream?

Several fish were found dead about a quarter mile away. The pink substance that oozed from the burning building last night contained a trace of lindane, an agricultural pesticide.

State inspectors are still trying to determine if there is a link between the dead fish and the lindane.

This fire is being investigated as an arson. The building had been abandoned for nearly six years, and the electricity had been turned off.

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Len Besthoff, Reporter
Mark Copeland, Photographer
Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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