PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) – Several fire crews responded to the scene of a possible hazmat situation in Pawtucket.
Firefighters were called to Providence Metalizing Company at the corner of Fairlawn and Mineral Spring Avenues around 2 a.m. after receiving calls from witnesses who said they heard explosions and saw fire coming from the building.
While fighting the fire, Pawtucket Battalion Chief Robert Neill told Eyewitness News they came across a 55-gallon barrel containing “some kind of chemical.” Hazmat crews were immediately called in to investigate.
Battalion Chief Robert Neill of the Pawtucket Fire Department believes a barrel, containing liquid that was pressurized and past its boiling point, caused the explosion.
“We had a couple of reports of an explosion and we think that was possibly a 55-gallon drum within the container that created an explosion,” said Neill.
Fire crews said at least 20 firefighters were possibly exposed to some kind of chemical while fighting the fire. They were each decontaminated. One was sent to the hospital as a precaution.
“We don’t still know what type of chemical or what type of product’s in the thing. We’ve taken precautions. We have a decon team, hazmat team down there, decontaminating all of the personnel that have walked in the product,” Neill said.
Cleanup crews were on scene Tuesday making sure that the remaining 55-gallon drums that did not explode are secure.
State environmental experts were also on scene.