Warehouse full of plastic gator heads burns in massive fire near I-285

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Crews spent most of Friday putting out hot spots after a massive structure fire on Riverview Road near I-285 and Bolton Road in Cobb County.

Channel 2's Lauren Pozen learned that the fire broke out at a warehouse that made plastic gator heads among other plastic products. It's unclear what they were used for.

Pozen got an up-close look at the hundreds of gator heads, which firefighters said fueled the huge inferno.

NewsChopper 2 first showed you huge plumes of black smoke and multiple units on the scene around 6 a.m. Friday. Channel 2's Mark McKay said smoke reached about 1,000 feet in the air before it dispersed.

Cobb Fire Department Division Chief Carl Crumbley said a passerby reported the fire about 6 a.m. When firefighters arrived, the warehouse was engulfed in flames so crews could not enter the building, he said.

Pozen learned that the building belonged to a company called CPI Plastics Group, which makes plastic and fiber moldings.

"Supposedly, there are plastic gator heads and a lot of other petroleum foam-based products that were on fire," Capt. Joseph Bryant, with Cobb County fire said.

Firefighters initially said no chemicals were involved in the fire, but now say that the chemicals used to make the plastic props were not toxic.

"Some of the water runoff started turning a little bit of a bluish-green color," Bryant said. "We think that is from the dyes from some of the plastics."

The hazmat team came out to make sure it was not toxic.


"They've done some preliminary testing," Bryant said. "It does not appear to be toxic. The Environmental Protection Division and the Environmental Protection Agency are on the scene as well. They are going to be doing some additional monitoring for the water and air, as well."

Pozen reached out to the manager of the warehouse. He told Pozen over the phone that his main concern is his customers.

Fire investigators are still working to figure out what caused the blaze.

The fire is one of two blazes crews battled in metro Atlanta on Friday morning.

An overnight explosion caused a major fire at a southeast Atlanta pallet facility and forced residents in several homes to evacuate.

The fire at Pallet Depot on Sawtell Avenue has since been contained.

Map below shows location of Cobb County fire: