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Major fire at Georgia plastics plant prompts citywide shelter-in-order

A large fire at a plastics plant in Brunswick, Georgia on Saturday prompted officials to issue a shelter-in-place order for the entire city. The order was withdrawn on Saturday late night.

At a news conference earlier in the evening, Brunswick Mayor Cosby Johnson said that, along with the shelter-in-place order, all residents within a half-mile of the Pinova plant were placed under a voluntary evacuation order.

“As you can see, the winds continue to change, the direction continues to change, and we want every part of our citizens to be safe,” Johnson said.

Brunswick Fire Department Assistant Chief Lawrence Cargill told reporters that the fire was “contained” and “under control.” The Glynn County Board of Commissioners later announced in a social media post that the fire had been extinguished and shelter-in-place and evacuation orders had been lifted.

A massive fire at a plastics plant in Georgia is evacuating

A fire broke out at a plastics plant in Brunswick, Georgia. April 15, 2023.

Myra Perkins/Stories

At the height of the fire, cell phone video showed a huge black cloud of smoke billowing hundreds of feet into the air above the city. No injuries were reported. The extent of the fire damage is not yet clear.

Cargill explained that the fire started on Saturday morning. It went out, but then “re-awakened” in the afternoon.

The Pinova plant, which is operated by Pinova Solutions, produces rosin and polyterpene resins, according to the company’s website.

The fire department in Jacksonville, Florida, was one of several agencies throughout the region that sent crews to help put out the fire, Johnson said.

Brunswick is located in southeast Georgia, about 70 miles north of Jacksonville. Along with crews, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department also dispatched airplanes and helicopters, the Glynn County Board of Commissioners said.

“We appreciate Jacksonville bringing their expertise,” Johnson said.

The cause of the fire is still unknown.

“At this time, there is no known source,” Cargile said.

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