Community helps clean-up
What caused the massive explosion and fire Wednesday at the Perma-Fix hazardous waste recycling facility in Valdosta remains a mystery but all 13 employees are accounted for and the two employees who were airlifted to the hospital are in stable condition.
The smoke plume from the Perma-Fix facility fire could been seen from throughout the Valdosta community.
"The guys started responding and they actually could see the smoke probably pretty much as soon as they left the station and so they realized it was a pretty serious incident going on," said John Wisenbaker, City of Valdosta Fire Marshall.
It was the community who stepped up when they were needed most.
"It was an outstanding effort all the way around. Law enforcement was a big help, state EPA came in, our emergency management people, it was just a group effort and that's what it takes on something like this," said Ralph Catlett, Valdosta Fire Dept Battalion Chief.
The first Valdosta fire truck arrived just four minutes after they got the call and other responders soon followed. Without the community corporation this disaster could have been much worse.
"What better pay can you have than a man hugging you around the neck and whispers in your ear 'thank you,"' Tommy Miller with the Valdosta Red Cross.
"Everything was fine last night, the mental had cooled down enough this morning where we could get our investigators in there and at this time they're going through the scene and coming up with a cause of the incident," said Catlett.
The plant portion of the Perma-Fix building is total loss and the office has minor damage but surrounding businesses are OK.