MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Emergency response units were on the scene of a hazardous materials incident that started a long-burning fire and left two workers injured on Pratt Street Monday.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) responded to the reported fire and acid gas release at CRC Chrome, a plating company located at 169 Pratt Street.
Part of Pratt Street was closed in the areas of Mill and Center Street, and has since reopened.
According to DEEP, employees of CRC Chrome dumped lacquer into a heated tank, causing a reaction that went over the sides of the tank. This reaction caused the roof to catch on fire.
The fire department tarped the tank, stopping any chemical release.
Firefighters had to work cautiously because of the chemicals inside and had to be careful with how much water they could use.
“When do you this in a chemical fire like this, people start getting concerned with runoff, and that becomes another big issue,” ais Meriden Fire Dept. Chief Ken Morgan.
DEEP confirmed that Hydrochloric acid was present in the building but was not released or impacted by the fire. No environmental clean-up was required and the fire has been put out.
Two workers were transported to the hospital with severe injuries. One victim is currently in fair condition, and as of Tuesday morning, the other is in critical condition.
There has been no presence of acid gas in the air, according to DEEP. The area will remain monitored for any changes.
Chief Ken Morgan of Meriden Fire Dept. told reporters, “When you do this in a chemical fire like this, people start getting concerned with runoff and that becomes another big issue…It’s going to be a long methodical process and then clean up is going to be even longer. I anticipate we will be here well into the evening.”