Caroline Tire fire update: Health Department to monitor air around building

Tire fires produce potentially harmful chemicals

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.--  Captain Lee Forshner was working the fire early Sunday morning at Caroline Tire.
He and more than 70 other firefighters fought through heavy smoke as the entire shop, including vehicles, went up in flames.
   
"Thicker smoke, if you will, and a lot more toxic materials that are potentially in that smoke," said Tim O'Connor, spokesperson at the Palm Beach County Health Department.

Health Officials are now monitoring the air around the shop because of harmful toxins that are produced by burning tires like carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and sulfuric acid.

Preliminary tests show people working or traveling in that area off Indian Road and Okeechobee Boulevard should be okay because toxin numbers did not reach dangerous levels for a prolonged period of time.

"There are some noxious odors still coming because it's smoldering, but they dissipate in the air, you can smell it, but it doesn't really have any adverse effects, doesn't cross the threshold to be dangerous," said O'Connor.

And for firefighters, like Capt. Forshner, their protective gear shields them from the toxins produced by a tire fire,  the same way it would in any other fire.

"They emit very similar gasses that a lot of residential and commercial areas do in reference to fire," said Forshner.

The Health Department will also monitor the detailed clean-up process involved in a fire like this.

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