Washington County and the Town of Jonesborough are coordinating to support emergency response to the Hexpol Compounding fire.
The Jonesborough Fire Department along with all of the county’s volunteer fire departments responded to the explosion and subsequent fire. Multiple crews rotated throughout the night with the Jonesborough Fire Department to keep the fire controlled. It is important to note that crews were still available to provide fire coverage to all areas of the county while responding to this event. Crews from Johnson City, Sullivan, Greene and Carter counties all responded as well to insure coverage overnight. Efforts like these are coordinated by our Emergency Management Agency, which has staffed the site since the first call.
- The black substance residents are seeing is carbon black. It is part of the manufacturing process and is not toxic to humans or animals.
- Air quality monitoring by an independent third party began at 2 a.m. and indicates no risk to the community.
- TDEC and an independent third party are actively monitoring runoff into Little Limestone Creek. Samples were taken yesterday and today. Sampling of the water will continue at regular intervals.
- Emergency Management and the UT Extension Office worked together to notify farmers along Little Limestone Creek regarding livestock concerns. All concerns have been addressed and livestock are not in danger.
- Any potential environmental concerns with the fire are being addressed by TDEC.
- Cleanup by various environmental companies will continue.
This fire impacted nearly 100 local residents who were employed by Hexpol. As you are probably aware, one employee sustained significant burns and was airlifted to Winston-Salem. We have a committee in place with local leaders and economic development to offer assistance to Hexpol and its employees.