ATLANTA Flames engulfed a warehouse outside of Atlanta late on Friday, prompting an evacuation of nearby businesses, but firefighters kept the blaze from spreading to other structures, and no injuries were reported, emergency management officials said.
The fire erupted at about 8:30 p.m. local time in the warehouse of Amrep, a chemical supply company in a small industrial park off Cobb Parkway in Marietta, about 25 miles northwest of Atlanta, the state capital.
A dispatcher for Cobb County emergency communications said there were no homes close enough to be threatened by the blaze and that despite the presence of some chemicals stored in the warehouse, the fire posed no environmental hazard to the area.
Neel Patel, the night desk manager at the Sun Inn, a small hotel a quarter-mile southwest of the fire, told Reuters he saw flames shooting about 40 feet into the air from the fire, the biggest he has seen in 20 years of working in the area.
"There were several large fireballs and a few explosions," Patel said, adding that prevailing winds drew smoke away from the hotel. The company supplies a variety of automotive, janitorial and industrial products, according to its website.
The industrial park and the main road leading to it were shut down as firefighters worked to contain the blaze, and surrounding businesses were evacuated as a precaution, dispatchers and police said.
(Reporting by Timothy Pratt in Atlanta; additional reporting and writing by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Kim Coghill)