Rural King chemical spill causes evacuation at nearby movie theater

MARTIN, Tenn. — The Rural King parking lot in Martin might look calm now, but Friday night, it was flooded with emergency vehicles.

“We’ve had things like this, but nothing to this caliber as we had today,” Martin fire chief Jamie Summers said.

Summers said they responded to a chemical spill just before 10 p.m. Friday night.

“We did find they had a spill of some pool chemicals that mixed with some fertilizer,” he said.

No one was seriously injured, but the spill drew a massive response from at least six different agencies and even caused an evacuation at a nearby movie theater.

Summers said when the firefighters were trying to separate the substances, they began mixing, which caused a chemical reaction.

“It wasn’t a violent chemical reaction, but it was a reaction that created a boom,” he said.

A hazmat team was brought in to asses the situation.

Summers said the reaction sent two firefighters were to the hospital as a precaution, but shoppers at the home and farm store said the accident doesn’t worry them.

“The fire department did what they are supposed to do, and everything is done,” Martin resident Jimmie Randolph said.  “They checked to make sure everything is safe, so it doesn’t bother me.”

A cleanup crew was later called and worked through the night to clean up after the spill.

Chief Summers said the store is now open and safe for its shoppers, but people should use this as a reminder to watch where and how you store chemicals.

He says some Rural King employees were also sent to the hospital to be checked out, but there are no reports of injuries.

Categories: Local News, News