WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — A warehouse occupied by a cleaning products company caught fire Saturday morning in West Memphis, says the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management.
The fire is approximately .2 miles south of I-40 at 1235 North 7th Street in West Memphis. Officials say the fire started around 9:30 a.m., and as of 4:30 p.m., the fire is under control.
Multiple law enforcement agencies are blocking off the street as West Memphis and Marion County fire crews battle the blaze. West Memphis Office of Emergency Management and Crittenden County Office of Emergency Management are also on the scene.
“We called in mutual aid from the Marion Fire Department,” said West Memphis Fire Chief Barry Ealy. “They came in to assist us. Basically, we had about 50 firefighters on the scene
The City of West Memphis Office of Emergency Management says that the warehouse was used for Awesome Products, a cleaning products company. However, Ealy says its contents mostly included cardboard and plastic.
“When we got here there was a lot of heavy fire,” Ealy said. “The fire flashed so we backed out our personnel. “
Ealy says the warehouse is around 168,000 square feet.
“We used the aerial ladder to attack this from above because you don’t want to send anybody in on a fire like that because there is nothing to gain at that point,” Ealy said.
The West Memphis Fire Department is asking for everyone to avoid the area for their safety and to allow emergency services unobstructed access.
“Our brave firefighters are working tirelessly to contain the situation and protect our community. Thank you for your cooperation during this challenging time,” said WMFD in a Facebook post.
Another major concern is the air quality and the health effects. Division Chief Robert Mabe says Mother Nature assisted with that.
“The smoke that folks saw was that real dark, black plastic container smoke,” Mabe said. “It went up high and blew away. So the solution to pollution is dilution. The further it got away, the better it was for everybody.”
Terrian Sumner says she first noticed the blaze around 10 a.m. Saturday morning.
“We were standing right up here, and you could feel the heat and just hear the explosions. We were like Lord have mercy,” said Sumner.
There have been no reported injuries.
WREG will provide updates when they become available.