Chemicals that burned in a spectacular fire Sunday at a Fullerton janitorial supply firm were identified as industrial cleaning solutions, drain cleaners, chlorine bleach and small amounts of household-variety pesticides, fire officials said Monday.
Fire Marshal John Clark said there was no health hazard posed by smoke from the burning chemicals, either to firefighters, who were masked, or to residents near the one-story office building on Artesia Avenue near Dale Street.
But concern that some of the highly alkaline chemicals were flushed by water into adjacent gutters and streets during the fire led to the hiring of a hazardous materials cleanup firm to pump out the water and haul it away, city spokeswoman Sylvia Palmer Mudrick said. That work, done by Crosby & Overton of Long Beach, was to be completed by late Monday night at the owner’s expense.
Meanwhile, Monday’s cleanup operations prevented fire investigators from entering the gutted building to determine what started the fire. Mudrick said they would begin their work today after doorways to the building are diked to prevent further runoff of water.
When the investigation is completed, Mudrick said, the premises will be turned over to the owner, who will supervise final cleanup under the direction of county environmental health officers. She said all debris must be hauled to a landfill authorized to receive hazardous waste.
The owner of Eco Chemical Products Inc. and National Chemical Services, related companies that operate out of the same building, listed losses at $1 million. However, fire officials listed the damage to structure and contents at $400,000.