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Chemical fire reported at JCC Friday

Updated: Friday, August 30 2013, 04:51 PM CDT
Reported by: Christina Butler

YORK -- Fire officials in York County are calling a fire at the Jewish Community Center preventable.

Goodwill Fire Company Deputy Chief Nathan Tracey says it broke out when routine maintenance was being performed in the pool facility. A bucket containing granulated chlorine was used improperly.

"It was a five gallon bucket and they used the bucket as leverage to pump water out of the pool and the heat from the pump caused the fire," he said. 

About 100 people were evacuated. Children were taken to a nearby school. Three people were hurt, including an employee who tried to extinguish the fire. The worker brought the bucket outside, where it caught on fire again. 

The injured are all expected to be OK, and we are told their injuries are consistent with breathing in chemicals.

Tracey says when crews arrived they noticed a chemical haze in the building and a plume of smoke outside. Neighboring homes and residents were not in danger because of the breezy conditions Friday according to Tracey. 

The JCC was closed for most of the day Friday.

The pool was an indoor facility. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says chemical accidents with pool products can happen indoors or outdoors.

They say it is important to never mix chlorine products with acid because it can release toxic fumes. They also say never mix different pool chemicals with each other. That includes chlorine made by different makers.

Also, the CDC says never add water to pool chemicals if you are directed to pre-dissolve. Instead, add the chemical to water. This will prevent a potentially violent and explosive reaction. 
Chemical fire reported at JCC Friday


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