Thursday morning, at approximately 08:30, Midway Fire Rescue was dispatched to a possible hazardous materials incident at the Pawleys Island Recycling Center.
Battalion 81 responded while receiving updated information of a large garbage container with something smoking and leaking some type of material. Engine 821, Medic 825 and Rescue 816 also responded with Battalion 81. Battalion 81 arrived on scene and established command, confirmed a small smoke plume, and cleared all working personnel and civilians from the site,. Command requested Hazmat 826 to the scene which brought in personnel from the Midway Fire Rescue Haz Mat Team along with mutual aid units to backfill our stations.
Once a contingent of Hazardous Materials Technicians arrived on scene, a recon crew was sent to the container to investigate and to get samples. The crew found it to be some type of acid but still an unknown substance since they could not see it.
Command requested the container to be dumped to locate the source and minimize potential hazardous run-off. Crews located the source to be leaking acid from an automotive battery that had been discarded into the bulk refuse container. The crews were switched out multiple times to take the pile of trash apart to confirm this was the source of the problem and to perform the diluting phase of the operation of the container and contents. The area was tested for any remaining acid and found to be clear.
Once the incident was declared under control, command placed the box in service returning all units. The incident lasted 3 hours.
Command: Chief 1
Operations: Chief 2 & Battalion 81
Safety: Chief 3
South Carolina Highway Patrol