Large fires broke out at a chemical plant in Atlanta and a steel factory in Pennsylvania on Saturday, the latest in a series of fires and explosions reported at industrial sites in the past week.A large fire broke out at the Alchemix Chemical Plant near the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta on Saturday, according to local media.
Firefighters from five departments fought the blaze for two hours before managing to extinguish the fire. A road nearby was closed as the fire approached the tree line near the plant.
A miles-high smoke plume from the fire could be seen for miles and even showed up on radar. No injuries were reported due to the fire.
Alchemix works with a chemical known as nitrocellulose, according to a local NBC-affiliated television station. Nitrocellulose is composed of nitric esters of cellulose and a highly flammable compound that is the main ingredient of modern gunpowder.
The cause of the fire was unreported as of Saturday night.Also on Saturday, a large fire was reported at Sukup Steel Structures in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It took six hours for firefighters from 24 departments to extinguish the blaze. Two firefighters were injured in the fire. Electrical work was conducted near where the fire started and the cause of the fire is being investigated. It is not believed that the fire was suspicious, according to Ambridge fire Chief Robert Gottschalk.
In the past week, two large fires were reported in northwest Indiana, one at a steel mill in Burns Harbor and the other at a power plant in Wheatfield.
On Thursday, an explosion was reported at the ArcelorMittal steel mill in Burns Harbor. Video from the scene showed the explosion showering the mill with large chunks of burning shrapnel, according to The Times of Northwest Indiana. No injuries were reported in the incident.
A spokesman for ArcelorMittal stated that the fire was caused by a stove dome failure. Mike Millsap, director of District 7 of the United Steelworkers union, stated, "We do not know what caused it or the how much damage was done. We may not know until tomorrow or the next day. We are very fortunate that there was nobody in the immediate area."
Later on Thursday, a fire broke out at the NIPSCO R.M. Schahfer Generating Station in Wheatfield. A portion of the facility was evacuated and no injuries were reported. The cause of the incident is under investigation.
On Sunday, a large blaze broke out on the USS Bonhomme Richard in San Diego. An explosion was reported about two hours after the fire broke out. The blaze took four days to extinguish; the cause of the fire is unclear. The fire was the worst in-port disaster for the US Navy since the 2012 fire on the attack submarine Miami, which was later found to have been arson.
The fires and explosions come after a series of similar incidents at industrial and nuclear sites in Iran. At least some of the incidents in Iran have been blamed on Israel by foreign media, although Iranian officials have not placed blame for the incidents on any entity and have not declared if the incidents were attacks or accidents.Iranian newspapers have discussed possible causes of the fire in San Diego with a number of theories and claims posited, despite no official statements by the US concerning the cause of the fire, according to the Middle East Eye.
The Iranian Mehr News Agency questioned on Saturday why international media did not raise the same questions about the fires and explosions in the USA, as were raised concerning similar incidents in Iran.
Esmail Ghaani, commander of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, responded to the fire on the US naval vessel last week, saying "The US must not accuse others. They themselves lit this fire and it has engulfed them today. We must tell them that this is the answer to your crimes committed by your own elements. God will punish you with your own hands," according to Mehr.