UPDATE: Lafayette business fire injures 10, leaves 2 reportedly - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Lafayette business fire injures 10, leaves 2 reportedly critical

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Smoke billows from the Buy The Truck building Friday. Photo courtesy Josh O'Bryant Smoke billows from the Buy The Truck building Friday. Photo courtesy Josh O'Bryant

UPDATE: Ten employees were injured in a Lafayette business fire on Friday. Two people are reported to be in critical condition.

Flames ignited around 10 a.m. at the Buy The Truck facility on South Chattanooga Street.

Clouds of black smoke could be seen near downtown Lafayette, prompting city officials to tell residents to stay inside.

"It would be advisable for people to obviously not be in the smoke if they can avoid it, and if there's no reason for them to be outside, it's safer inside," said Lafayette City Manager David Hamilton.

The building was evacuated. Multiple agencies were called in to help. The Environmental Protection Division also responded to look into air quality and contaminated water concerns.

The business works with foam, latex, and plastic materials, which are all very flammable. It posed a challenge when putting out the flames.

"Because of the nature of this fire, the nature of the product that's on fire, we're going to have to pull a wall out of the building and pull some of the material out, and spread it out, so we can extinguish it," Hamilton explained.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the back corner of the building, and will continue to keep a close eye on it into the night.

"We'll also send teams back in the building, looking for hot spots, trying to just absolutely ensure that the entire fire has been extinguished," said Hamilton.

Officials are still trying to figure out what started the fire. The state fire marshal has been called in to investigate.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.

PREVIOUS STORY: Lafayette residents once again are being urged to stay indoors due to a large fire at Buy The Truck on South Chattanooga Street.

The blaze started around 10:00 a.m.

Police tell Channel 3 the fire is not out but under control.

Our crew on the scene confirms at least 10 people have been treated for smoke inhalation but no one has been burned.

The plant has foam, latex and plastic products. The Environment Protection Division is at the scene.

Residents are urged to stay indoors as a precaution due to the large amount of smoke.

This is the second commercial fire in Lafayette in just over three months.

READ MORE | Officials Worry about the Environmental Impact Massive Fire is Having in Downtown LaFayette

In November, the old Barwick Mills plant, less than a mile away from today's scene, went up in flames, forcing surrounding residents to stay inside their homes for hours to prevent smoke inhalation or harm from hazardous chemicals.

READ MORE | EPA to answer questions about Lafayette mill fire in public session

Officials say the fire today is not expected to have the same impact as the Barwick Mills blaze; however, as a precaution, they urge everyone in the area to stay indoors.

Stay with Channel 3 on-air and online for updates as they become available.

PREVIOUS STORY: Several Walker County fire companies are on scene of a commercial fire at Buy The Truck at 1115 South Chattanooga Street in LaFayette.

The fire started about 10:00am. Several employees tried to extinguish the fire, but the blaze got out of control. Currently, the fire is not out but "under control" according to police who spoke with Channel 3. 

Foam, latex and plastic products are at plant. The Environment Protection Division is at the scene.

Ten people inside have reported difficulty breathing and have been transported to nearby hospitals for examination and treatment of smoke inhalation. No burns have been reported.

Mutual aid from surrounding counties has been requested. Both Chattooga County and East Ridge fire departments have joined the firefighting efforts.

Channel 3 has a crew enroute and will update this developing story.

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