Large blaze at Georgia plastics plant prompts citywide shelter-in-place-order

A large fire which erupted 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 lifted late Saturday night. 

In 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 had been placed under a voluntary evacuation order.

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

Laurence Cargile, assistant chief for the Brunswick Fire Department, told reporters that the flames were “contained” and “under control.” The Glynn County Board of Commissioners later announced in a social media post that the fire had been extinguished and the shelter-in-place and evacuation orders had been lifted. 

Massive blaze at Georgia plastics plant forces evacuations
A fire burns at a plastics plant in Brunswick, Georgia. April 15, 2023. 

Myra Perkins/Storyful

At the height of the fire, cell phone video showed a massive black cloud of smoke billowing hundreds of feet into the air above the city. There was no report of any injuries. The extent of the damage from the fire was still unclear. 

Cargile explained that the fire had initially sparked on Saturday morning. It was extinguished, but then it “rekindled” in the afternoon.

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

The fire department for the city of Jacksonville, Florida, was one of several agencies from across the region who dispatched personnel to assist in combatting the blaze, Johnson said.   

Brunswick, in southeast Georgia, is located about 70 miles north of Jacksonville. The Glynn County Board of Commissioners said that, along with crews, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department also sent aircraft and helicopters.

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

There was still no word on the cause of the fire.

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

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