A huge fire broke out at a fertilizer warehouse in South Hill, Virginia, after a car crashed into the building Saturday and then burst into flames, officials said.

Multiple fire units responded to a large industrial fire at Nutrien Ag Solutions, on the 500 block of West Danville St. in South Hill, which started at 1:55 p.m. on July 6 after a vehicle crashed into the building. By 8 p.m., the South Hill Police Department said firefighters contained the blaze.

One person, who officials believe was the person in the vehicle that crashed into the building, ended up flown to VCU Medical Center in Richmond for treatment suffering from burns, said a spokesperson for the South Hill Volunteer Fire Department. In addition, 15 firefighters also ended up flown to a local hospital with one admitted.

Nutrien Ag Solutions is a warehouse for pesticides and fertilizers. The spokesperson said they are collecting a list of chemicals on site during the fire.

Officials said the building was vacant at the time of the crash. However, due to the threat of heat, fire and gas vapors, the fire department recommended a voluntary evacuation within a half mile of the area and contacted a regional HazMat team.

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Power to nearby buildings and business ended up affected by the fire. The spokesperson said Dominion Energy isolated power near the the fire, but all other areas have power.

Heat from the fire affected some of the nearby buildings, however most just suffered minor damage.

A large amount of run off coming from the fire that is going into creeks in the area, according to the South Hill Police Department.

“At this time the levels are non hazardous but [it] does have a strong smell,” the South Hill Police Department said in a statement. “Please avoid area creeks and this run off.”

Fire units work to contain a large industrial fire in a fertilizer warehouse in South Hill, Virginia, that forced an evacuation.
Source: Photo courtesy of Ken Currin

The South Hill Police Department said the Virginia Department of Emergency Management is monitoring the runoff levels and will notify the public with any new information.

Clean up has begun around the fire scene. Officials, however, still recommend avoiding the area.

By 12:25 p.m. on July 7, all utilities ended up restored and residents could return to their homes, according to the South Hill Volunteer Fire Department.

The fire department posted an additional update at 6:30 p.m. saying all first responders ended up released from the hospital after medical staff treated them for heat exhaustion.


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