Fire continues to burn at battery recycling center
by Amanda Stegall
Apr 16, 2011 | 5629 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Smoke can be seen from a battery recycling plant on Porter Street in Cartersville at around 4 p.m. Saturday.
SHAKA S. LIAS/The Daily Tribune News
Smoke can be seen from a battery recycling plant on Porter Street in Cartersville at around 4 p.m. Saturday. SHAKA S. LIAS/The Daily Tribune News
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A structure fire at the Metal Conversions Technologies, a rechargeable battery recycling center broke out around 3 p.m. Saturday. Nearby residents were initially evacuated from their homes and a shelter-in-place was constructed.

Cartersville City Fire Chief Scott Carter stated that a battery fire began near the exterior of the building and quickly spread to the interior.

The Hazardous Material response team combines units from the city of Cartersville and Bartow County fire departments who respond to particular situations when chemicals and other hazardous materials are involved.

Main chemicals in the batteries are lithium and nickel-cadmium. Lithium, a highly flammable and reactant element, has been named as the culprit for the explosion. Contact with the chemical can typically initially irritate the nose and throat, explaining complaints of difficulty breathing.

According to a press release from Cartersville Medical Center, eight citizens checked into the emergency room complaining of respiratory problems. The hospital stated that no serious issues were discovered and the evaluations were mainly precautionary. All of the patients were released except one, who remains for observation.

See Sunday's The Daily Tribune News for the full story.