JONESBOROUGH, Tenn.—A rubber compounding plant in Tennessee caught fire early Jan. 7, sending one person to the hospital and smoke into the air hours after it started, according to local reports.
A significant fire at Hexpol Compounding of Jonesborough started in the early morning hours of Jan. 7, the company confirmed in a statement.
"Emergency protocols were immediately activated, and 22 employees were evacuated from the facility. One employee is being treated for injuries. At this time, there are no fatalities," the company said. "The cause of the fire is under investigation and Hexpol is fully cooperating with governmental officials."
"We would like to thank the brave first responders that have been on the scene, battling the fire since it broke out," Hexpol NA President Ken Bloom said in the statement.
The company will provide additional details as they become available, Hexpol said.
Photographs and videos from the scene show thick smoke billowing from the facility hours after the blaze started. Local reports indicate the fire might burn for days.
Listen at :12 in. Flames are rising again and we heard a loud bang at the Hexpol plant in Jonesborough. Crews have been fighting this fire for almost 12 hours now. pic.twitter.com/fZkok2Op7j— Ashley Sharp (@AshleySharpWJHL) January 7, 2021
Authorities also were warning local farmers to keep their livestock away from a nearby creek that could be contaminated with runoff from the fire, according to a local television report.
Hexpol Compounding is a unit of Hexpol A.B. of Malmo, Sweden.