Building demolition reveals hazardous materials -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Building demolition reveals hazardous materials

March 9, 2007

Thomasville-- Barrels of various unidentified chemicals were found during demolition of the downtown building.  Friday, specialists were working to figure out what's inside those barrels.

The building at 601 Madison street has been used for a lot of things, a car dealership, a soda-producing company and a freezer door manufacturer. 

It's sat vacant for 30 years, and Tuesday morning, the front collapsed. "They had hired a demolition crew to come in and tear the building down and in the process they had come across some drums in the building," Thomasville Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief Bobby Hart.

Thirty-four 55-gallon barrels, in various conditions were found.  "Some of them was rusty some of them was unidentifiable, so we couldn't tell what was in the drums really, we had to call in a specialist," said Hart.

Teams from two Florida companies that deal with hazardous waste were called to the scene.  "They'll see what they're dealing with and then they'll package the product and dispose of it properly," Hart explained.

With all the commotion yesterday, neighbors and people passing by couldn't help but wondering what was going on. 

Josh Gordon could see nearly everything from his car repair shop next door.  "They had firetrucks, and the guys in the suits and stuff, all the city people down there.  Was wondering what was going on," Gordon said.

He was curious, but Gordon says he isn't concerned.  "If there was something dangerous over there I believe it would have effected something prior to now."

The city and waste management companies aren't taking any chances. The barrels can't be moved until they know exactly what's inside.

"I hope they figure out what it is and go ahead and get done," said Gordon.  But it may take time. There's no word on just how long it will take to identify the contents of all the barrels, and secure the area.

When the barrels are disposed of and the site is secure, the demolition crew will finish destroying the building.


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