News Channel 3 Uncovers Deadly History At Business That Caught Fire Thursday
(Shelby County, TN) The burned tower is a sign of the fire that erupted at Tradebe Environmental Services Thursday.
What News Channel 3 found is even more damaging.
OSHA initially told us the company had no serious violations, but News Channel 3 did some digging and found a OSHA report from 2001, when the company was still called Pollution Control Industries.
It says an employee was performing maintenance Dec. 18, 2001, trying to figure out what caused a system jam. That’s when a chemical fire erupted.
That employee suffered second and third degree burns to 65 percent of his body. He died in the hospital five days later.
We also found a long list of serious violations at Pollution Control Industries in April and May of 2002 resulting in more than $78,000 in fines.
We tried to find out more about Thursday’s fire and the history of violations from company workers.
“There is nobody really available at this time. They are all in meetings,” an unidentified worker told us at the Millington-area business Friday.
OSHA tells us they arrived at the site Friday to start their newest investigation, which could take from eight weeks to six months.
The Shelby County Fire Department says recent calls to the business were for small fires that were quickly put out.
“The different chemicals that have different compounds and reactions are stored on different parts of the campus. Like I said, we do make regular trips out here to assure that is in compliance,” said Brent Perkins, who is with the Shelby County Fire Department.
The Fire Department says its investigation will likely still be going on Monday, because they have a large area to go through with plenty of machinery and equipment.